Joe Biden has been elected president of the United States. The 77-year-old has defeated President Donald Trump after a narrow race, CBS News reports. According to the outlet, Biden will win Pennsylvania, giving him the electoral votes needed to win, as ballots continued to be counted four days after Election Day.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden tweeted on Saturday “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
Trump, meanwhile, did not accept the results.
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed,” he wrote in a statement. “The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.”
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,” the statement continued. “The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access. So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
Election Day 2020 arrived following months of political and social tensions stoked by the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic, an economic crisis and continued racial injustice — with Trump and Biden offering very different futures for the American people and the American people awaiting the election results.
With Trump having commenced his reelection campaign the same day of his 2016 inauguration, Biden became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee after Super Tuesday in March, although it would be made official in August when he accepted the nomination during the Democratic National Convention.
“While I’ll be a Democratic candidate, I’ll be an American president. I’ll work hard for those who didn’t support me, as hard for them as I did for those who did vote for me,” he promised. “That’s the job of a president, to represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.”
This year’s unprecedented times, however, have led to a truly unprecedented election.
In March, the emergence of COVID-19 reached pandemic levels within the U.S. That same month, states began to implement stay-at-home orders among other quarantine and social distance measures that remain in place (to various degrees) to this day. The result has been widespread economic recession, mass cancellations and postponements across nearly every industry, and effects that will only become clear in time.
As the country grappled with the coronavirus, the police killing of George Floyd in May — as well as the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain and Breonna Taylor, among too many others — sparked global protests amid a national reckoning around police brutality and in support of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement.
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, as the national COVID-19 death toll passed more than 200,000 dead and protesting and retaliatory militia violence dominated news cycles, Biden and Trump met on the debate stage with American at home expecting answers to it all.
Viewers largely didn’t get that from the first debate on Sept. 29, which was set to touch on the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in U.S. cities and the integrity of the election. Over 90 chaotic minutes, there were countless interruptions, endless crosstalk and little to no decorum, to the point that the moderator had to implored Trump to stop cutting in.
Following the V.P. debate between Harris and Pence — infamously remembered as the one with the fly — the second presidential debate was cancelled in the wake of Trump testing positive for COVID-19. (First Lady Melania and a number of senior White House officials also test positive.)
In the final debate (held on Oct. 22 with the added ability to mute candidates’ microphones), the two nominees returned to the stage and proved polar opposites on the biggest issues affecting Americas today, issues voters thought about as the filled out their mail-in ballots or queued up to cast their vote in person. Now, Election Day has come and gone and with it, our first inclinations of the future.
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