Donald Trump has returned to Washington, cutting short his Christmas break and missing out on the annual New Year’s Eve party at his Florida residence Mar-a-Lago despite charging attendees $1,000 per ticket.
Back in DC, the president hailed the arrival of a coronavirus vaccine, against widespread alarm over its slow rollout falling short of federal promises.
A damning account of the president’s last several months, against a raging pandemic and looming election loss, reports his outage with Jared Kushner over Covid-19 testing and division among White House health officials over the role of Scott Atlas leading a dangerous response to the crisis.
The president has also continued his protest against the certification of November’s election results in the Senate on 6 January, at which Republican senator Josh Hawley will voice his objections to Democrat Joe Biden’s win even though the Trump campaign has still failed to turn up any evidence of the mass voter fraud it alleges.
GOP Senator Ben Sasse has urged his Republican colleagues to reject the “dangerous ploy” to disenfranchise millions of Americans’ votes.
The US Secret Service is meanwhile reportedly making changes to its presidential detail tasked with protecting Mr Biden in order to root out alleged Trump loyalists from its ranks. The president-elect has also announced plans to memorialise the victims of the Covid-19 crisis before his inauguration with a nationwide service to recognise the dead.