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Biden's top aide urges Congress to urgently pass new coronavirus relief

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming chief of staff on Sunday urged Congress to pass bipartisan pandemic financial aid as the number of new coronavirus cases shattered U.S. records and strained many state healthcare systems from coast-to-coast.

Ron Klain, in an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” program, said such a bill was urgently needed given the surge in COVID-19 cases, and that a relief package could pass before Biden took office on Jan. 20.

Klain added that Biden’s team planned to meet with Pfizer Inc and other drugmakers this week, but is still awaiting federal government authorization to formally begin transition efforts between his pandemic advisers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. (Reporting by Susan Heavey Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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