Joe Biden urges unity in his first speech as President-elect: "Time to heal in America"
WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to come together and heal Saturday in his first speech since winning the presidency.
"This is the time for America to heal," he said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware that closed a day of celebration and impromptu parades across the country.
"We have won by the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket … and we see an outpouring of joy all over this nation and in all cities in every part of the country, indeed around the world."
2020 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to supporters at an election rally after the media announced Biden won the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Wilmington, Delaware, United States, on Nov. 7, 2020.
Andrew Harnik | Reuters
Reaching out to voters who supported President Donald Trump, Biden told the crowd of supporters, "They are not our enemies. They are Americans."
"I will work to be a president who does not want to divide but to unite. I will not see red and blue states, I will always see the United States," said Biden.
Trump has so far refused to accept the election results, and on Saturday the president insisted in a tweet that he "won this election a lot"!
Trump and his election campaign filed lawsuits in half a dozen highly competitive states this week to create the illusion that the vote was tainted and Biden's victory is inadmissible. Legal experts have dismissed the claims as unfounded.
Biden's only mention of Trump on Saturday was the olive branch he gave to the President's supporters.
"For those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight," he said. "I lost a couple of elections myself. But now we're giving each other a chance."
"Let this dark era of demonization in America come to an end here and now."
Biden took his win on Saturday when the votes of the past four days in Pennsylvania gave him an insurmountable lead. The state's electoral college's 20 votes exceeded its total of 270 votes to win.
Later on Saturday, NBC News predicted Biden Nevada would win and added an additional six electoral college votes to its column.
Biden said his first priority will be getting the growing coronavirus pandemic under control. New daily cases dwarfed 100,000 in the past few days. Hospital stays and deaths are also increasing.
"On Monday, I will be appointing a group of senior scientists and experts as transition advisors to turn Biden-Harris' COVID plan into a plan of action starting January 20, 2021. This plan is being built on a foundation of science. It will be off Construct compassion, empathy and concern, "he said.
"I will spare no effort – or commitment – to reverse this pandemic."
Biden was introduced by elected Vice President Kamala Harris, who made history on Saturday as the first black woman and the first Asian American to be elected vice president. She addressed these issues in her speech and addressed women and girls everywhere.
Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris smiles as she speaks to supporters at an election rally after the media announced Biden won the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Wilmington, Delaware, United States, on Nov. 7, 2020.
Andrew Harnik | Reuters
"While I may be the first woman in this office, I won't be the last," she said. "Because every little girl who watches tonight sees that this is a land of opportunity."
"Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others may not see you simply because they have never seen it before," she said.
Both Harris and Biden recognized the gravity of the work that lies ahead. It won't be easy, they said, but they are ready.
"We have elected a president who represents the best in us," said Harris. "A leader that the world will respect and that our children can look up to. A commander-in-chief who will respect our troops and protect our country. And a president for all Americans."
Biden's speech ended with a lofty vision of the nation he will lead for the next four years. "We are always looking forward, forward to an America that is freer and fairer," he said.
"Before an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect. Before an America that cures diseases – like cancer and Alzheimer's. Before an America that never leaves anyone behind. Before an America that never gives up, never gives in."
"This is a great nation. And we are a good people."