President-elect Joe Biden stood on Friday evening to declare victory, instead attempting to unite a divided nation and demand patience with the democratic process as the number of votes persists in key states.
"I know it can be numbing to watch those voices slowly move up on television," admitted Biden in his Wilmington, Delaware, speech.
Vox, working with Decision Desk HQ, has forecast that the former vice president will be the election winner, but other major news organizations have yet to declare the race in his favor. Biden appears to be waiting for consensus to be elected president to deliver a victory speech.
But then he quickly turned to a message of oneness. "We may be opponents – but we are not enemies," he said.
Biden often said in the election campaign that he would be president for both people who voted for him and those who didn't. He repeated that message on Friday evening, saying he felt "an obligation to take care of all Americans" to address urgent issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic, racial justice and climate change.
"The purpose of our policy is not relentless warfare," he said. “We have to leave the anger and demonization behind. It is time for us to come together as a nation to heal. "
He said that while the votes are still being counted, he wasted no time preparing to take over the presidency, as the U.S. reported the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in a single day, with 240,000 deaths from the Year approached virus. He said he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held meetings with public health and business experts to prepare for the pandemic and an increasingly fragile economic recovery.
"We don't wait to get the job done," he said.
Biden, who won and counted a record 74 million votes, also expressed confidence that he won a crucial victory, claiming the Americans "gave us a mandate". He predicted that he would be the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Arizona in 24 years and Georgia in 28 years.
President Donald Trump has not yet conceded the election, and several news outlets have reported that he has no intention of doing so, but Biden assured Americans that they still believe in the democratic process.
"Look, we both know the tension is high," he said. “But we have to remember – we have to stay calm. If we count all the votes, we will prove again what we have demonstrated in this country for 244 years: democracy works. Your vote is counted. I don't care how hard people try to stop it. I will not allow it. "
"I hope to speak to you tomorrow," he added, suggesting that he anticipate that there will be a consensus on the outcome in the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Trump has made unfounded claims that Democrats are "trying to steal an election" while filing a series of lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia to give Republicans better access to oversee the ballot counting process and to prevent certain postal ballot papers from being counted.
Trump has relied on this legal battle to challenge the legitimacy of the votes and Biden's victory. Republican officials have also alleged widespread electoral fraud without producing evidence.
However, new coverage on Friday suggests that the aides are quietly wondering how to approach Trump about the fact that the election is not to be won.
In several states, including Georgia, where a recount is expected due to limited scope, the races remain inappropriate. But Biden didn't need Georgia to win, as he had already passed the 270-vote threshold to become the next president and won even more votes.
Trump was not supposed to speak to the American people on Friday night, but said in a series of tweets that Biden should not win a victory while the trial is ongoing, and questioned how Biden has taken the lead in key states.
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