U.S. President-elect Joe Biden declared it was “time to heal” a deeply divided country in his first speech after prevailing Nov. 7 in a bitter election, even as President Donald Trump refused to concede.
Biden’s victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania put him over the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes he needed to clinch the presidency, ending four days of suspense and sending his supporters into the streets of major cities in celebration.
“The people of this nation have spoken. They have delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory,” Biden told supporters in a parking lot in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
The Democrat pledged that as president he would seek to unify the country and “marshal the forces of decency” to battle the coronavirus pandemic, rebuild economic prosperity, secure health care for American families and root out systemic racism.
Without mentioning his Republican rival directly, Biden addressed the 70 million Americans who cast ballots in support of Trump.
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” he said. “This is the time to heal in America.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris will be the first woman, the first Black American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as vice president, the country’s No. 2 office. (Reuters)