Trump appears to acknowledge Biden could succeed him

Donald Trump insisted on Friday he would never put the United States into a coronavirus lockdown but said "time will tell" if another administration takes office in January and does so, the closest he has come to acknowledging that President-elect Joe Biden could succeed him.

In his first public remarks since Biden last Saturday was widely projected the winner, Trump said he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be available for the entire population as soon as April, amid a crush of new infections that has pushed daily case counts to record highs.

In broadcast remarks in the White House Rose Garden, Trump also appeared to acknowledge for the first time the possibility of an upcoming Biden administration, though he stopped short of conceding the race and did not mention his Democratic rival by name.

"Ideally, we won't go to a lockdown. I will not go, this administration will not be going to a lockdown," he said. "Hopefully the, the – uh – whatever happens in the future - who knows which administration will be. I guess time will tell."

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US President Donald Trump arrives for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US First Lady Melania Trump and President Donal Trump arrive for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump attends a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump leaves after placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pay their respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Daughter and Senior Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump (R) looks on as US President Donald Trump arrives for a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 11: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden honor military veterans with a stop at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial at Penn's Landing on Veterans Day on November 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden continues the process of the presidential transition as President Donald Trump continues to contest the election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 11: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden honor military veterans with a stop at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial at Penn's Landing on Veterans Day on November 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden continues the process of the presidential transition as President Donald Trump continues to contest the election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
US Vice President Mike Pence (L), US President Donald Trump (C), and US First Lady Melania Trump arrive for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 11: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden honor military veterans with a stop at the Philadelphia Korean War Memorial at Penn's Landing on Veterans Day on November 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden continues the process of the presidential transition as President Donald Trump continues to contest the election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump attends a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
US President-elect Joe Biden(R) greets people as he pays his respects during a Veterans Day stop at the Korean War Memorial Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2020. - The leaders of close US allies on November 10, 2020 telephoned President-elect Joe Biden and pledged to work together but in an extraordinary break, America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo insisted that Donald Trump would remain in power. The transition team said Biden planned to work with the Europeans on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as well as climate change -- one of many areas on which Trump sharply differed with the allies. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump attends a "National Day of Observance" wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. - US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran's Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden's win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump has persisted with unfounded accusations of widespread voting fraud. But while he has continued to make such claims on Twitter, he did not repeat them in his public remarks on Friday.

The last time Trump spoke - in the White House briefing room two days after the election - he said without evidence that if "legal" votes were counted he would "easily win" the election.

Biden solidified his victory over Trump on Friday after the state of Georgia went his way, leaving Trump little hope of reversing the outcome through legal challenges and recounts.

The Republican president said on Friday that he expects an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's vaccine "extremely soon".

Pfizer has said it expects to report required safety data next week and can then apply for an emergency use authorization.

The remarks came after Trump received an update on 'Operation Warp Speed,' an administration effort to turbocharge development of a vaccine.

Criticism of the administration's response to the virus, which has killed over 235,000 Americans, became a rallying cry for Democrats ahead of the elections.

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