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Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty

Eight world leaders have now called to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden — four more than the number of GOP senators who have publicly done so.

Why it matters: The refusal by top Republicans to accept Biden's victory and allow legal options to be exhausted could mean weeks of drama and serve as a distraction from the work that is necessary to ensure a smooth transition of power.

  • As of Wednesday, four Republican senators have congratulated Biden on his projected victory — Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine) and Ben Sasse (Neb.).
  • Many world leaders, meanwhile, are moving on and preparing to work with the president-elect.

What they're saying: "I'm letting them know that America’s back. Back in the game. America’s not alone," Biden said Tuesday about his calls with foreign leaders. He spoke on Wednesday with three other leaders based in the Asia-Pacific about cooperating on the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted Wednesday ET after he and Biden spoke of their shared values and history that's seen the U.S. and Australia fight side-by-side in every conflict since World War I, saying he looked forward to "celebrating the 70th anniversary" of the ANZUS security treaty next year.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Biden discussed Wednesday the president-elect's "strong desire to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance even further in new areas," per a transition statement.
  • South Korean President Moon Jae was praised by Biden during their phone conversation for his "strong leadership on COVID-19, noting his commitment to cooperate on addressing the pandemic, building global health security, and stimulating global economic recovery," the transition team notes.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Monday that he and Biden are ready to pick up on their previous work together to "tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our two countries - including climate change and COVID-19."
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Biden on Tuesday discussed plans to build on the U.S.-U.K. partnership in areas including trade and security through NATO, climate change and coronavirus recovery, per a PM's office statement.
    • Johnson invited Biden to attend a 2021 U.K.-hosted climate change summit and conveyed his congratulations to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for her historic achievement.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Biden Tuesday and said he was ready to work together on climate, health and the fight against terrorism, Reuters reports.
    • Biden conveyed his interest in reinvigorating bilateral and trans-Atlantic ties, including through NATO and the EU, his transition said.
    • Biden expressed his readiness to work together on global challenges, including security and development in Africa, the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and Iran's nuclear program.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel "expressed the wish for close and trusting future cooperation" on Tuesday, per a statement from her office. Merkel and Biden acknowledged transatlantic cooperation as a priority.
  • Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin's call with Biden reaffirmed the president-elect's commitment to restoring relations between the U.S. and EU, as well as his support for the Good Friday Agreement to ensure "no return of a border" on Ireland, Irish broadcaster RTE reports. Biden told Martin he'll sign the Paris Accord as soon as he is sworn next January.

Worth noting: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a briefing on Tuesday stood by President Trump and his allies' claims that the election isn't over and that the president has the right to pursue legal challenges.

Go deeper: As Trump fights the transition in D.C., the world moves on to Biden

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the latest world leaders to congratulate Biden.

Go deeper

21 hours ago - Health

Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot"

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.

Kellyanne Conway: It "looks like" Biden, Harris will prevail

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Kellyanne Conway, a former counselor to President Trump, said “it looks like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will prevail” in an interview with The 19th that aired on Friday.

Why it matters: Trump and his inner circle have so far refused to publicly acknowledge President-elect Biden won the election. Instead, they've attempted to paint the election process as fraudulent, despite states' certification of Biden's win and a lack of evidence supporting their claims.

Biden taps Brian Deese to lead National Economic Council

Brian Deese (L) in 2015 with special envoy for climate change Todd Stern (C) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R). Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has selected Brian Deese, a former Obama climate and economic aide and head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, to serve as director of the National Economic Council.

Why it matters: The influential position does not require Senate confirmation, but Deese's time working for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and an investor in fossil fuels, has made him a target of criticism from progressives.