Washington D.C. - At least six Puerto Ricans will be part of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s Transition Committee in a process that still faces President Donald Trump´s reluctance to accept his defeat.
Biden, however, has moved forward with the process and announced the members of the Committee, which includes former Puerto Rican Chief of Staff Jorge Silva Puras and Frances Colón, who was Deputy Science and technology adviser to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Silva Puras, who worked at La Fortaleza de Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, will be part of the Small Business Administration’s transition group.
Under the Obama administration, Silva Puras was director of SBA Region 2, which includes Puerto Rico, New York, New Jersey, and the Virgin Islands. He also served as Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Economic Development.
Colón will be part of the team in charge of the Department of State, according to an announcement by Biden’s team. Until yesterday, Biden had secured at least 279 of the 538 electoral votes and won 77.4 million votes nationally in the U.S., 5.1 million more than President Trump.
A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to secure the U.S. presidency.
Another Puerto Rican who held a high-ranking position in the SBA, Javier Saade, who served as Associate Administrator, Chief of Investment and Innovation at the Small Business Administration was appointed to the Treasury Department’s Transition Committee, which oversees the island´s fiscal issues, such as federal credit to foreign corporations due to the tax imposed by Puerto Rican law 154 of 2010.
Saade is the founder and managing partner of the investment firm Impact Master Holdings.
Pedro Rivera, of Puerto Rican descent and former Secretary of Education of the State of Pennsylvania, was appointed to the Education Department transition committee. Rivera is the president of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology since last month.
Another Puerto Rican on the committee is José Cordero, who was dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico and is a professor at the University of Georgia. Cordero, a pediatrician, and an epidemiologist was appointed to the committee that will address the issues of the Department of Health.
Vivian Graubard, a senior advisor in the New America study group who is of Puerto Rican, Colombian and Cuban descent, is in the working group working with the Department of Labor. Graubard worked at President Obama’s White House.
The members of the Transition Committee would begin working this week, even though the Trump administration is not cooperating.
President Trump, for example, ordered the General Service Administration not to provide -yet- public facilities for President-elect Biden’s Transition Committee.
Without presenting evidence, Trump repeated allegations of massive fraud in key states he lost, such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia.
Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania - where he leads Trump by more than 50,000 votes and secured 20 electoral votes - confirmed his election as the 46th President of the United States.
In Michigan, meanwhile, Biden’s lead over President Trump was over 148,645 votes yesterday.
No media outlet projected Biden’s victory in Georgia, where the former U.S. vice president has a 14,093-vote lead and there will be a hand recount to be completed by Friday next week. Georgia represents 16 electoral votes.
The only state where Biden and Trump were locked in a tight race and where the current President seemed to advance is Arizona. The former U.S. vice president’s lead was 12,813 in that state yesterday.
But even if Trump did win that state, Arizona has not been awarded to Biden by organizations that credit him with 279 electoral votes.
Both the Associated Press and Fox News called Arizona in favor of Biden last week, grating him 290 of the 538 electoral votes.
Pennsylvania and Michigan plan to certify their results on November 23, before the U.S. electoral college meeting on December 14.