As a result, while Bush and key staff were provided full intelligence briefings, the Bush transition did not have access to federal agencies and resources for 37 long days.

President-elect Joe Biden and his transition team should not suffer a similar delay. The electoral landscape is simply not the same. The outcome is not the same. And we have since learned the serious costs of a delayed transition.

Less than eight months after Bush’s inauguration, two planes flew into the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. One of us had the fateful duty to whisper into Bush’s ear, “America is under attack.”

When the 9/11 Commission finished its report, it found that the delayed transition “hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees” in the national security arena. The commission also concluded that avoiding future disruptions in transitions was deeply in the national interest.