President-elect Biden is moving forward with the transition process, even though his team has yet to receive any cooperation from the Trump administration. President Trump has refused to concede. Clinging to power, which expires in two months on Inauguration Day, Trump is forging ahead with a largely unsuccessful legal bid to deny the will of the voters.
The coronavirus is spreading at its most horrifying pace yet for the United States. Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising rapidly. The good news is that there are vaccines on the way, and potentially soon. The bad news is that there has been little federal coordination in response to the worsening pandemic.
The economy is vulnerable. While it has recovered since its worst point in the spring, a new wave of coronavirus restrictions is likely to put more pressure on already vulnerable small businesses. School closures, likewise, are jeopardizing working parents' ability to earn a living. Help doesn't look like it's on the way, at least not any time soon. The GOP-controlled Senate wants a smaller, more targeted relief package. The Democratic-controlled House wants a much broader bill. Neither side is budging. Americans will suffer as a result.
The government is set to run out of funding Dec. 11. Lawmakers have begun negotiations to avoid a shutdown, but the window is truncated as both houses of Congress head home for the Thanksgiving holiday. There's also the question of whether a lame-duck President Trump will be willing to engage in the process as he desperately resists the results of the election.
As we head into the holidays and a potentially brutal winter, the country needs many things. That starts with leadership – which seems in short supply at the moment.
Thoughts? Email Mike Calia at CNBCPolitics@nbcuni.com.