Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States after winning the critical state of Pennsylvania, bringing an end to Donald Trump’s presidency.
By Matthew Knott
Washington: Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States after winning the critical state of Pennsylvania, bringing an end to Donald Trump’s presidency.
After an excruciating four-day count, Biden’s childhood home state of Pennsylvania was called for the long-term Delaware senator and Obama administration vice-president.
Biden said in a statement: “I am honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris.
“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”
Biden – who will be 78 on inauguration day, January 20 – will become the oldest sitting president in US history.
He previously ran for president in 1988 and 2008, but dropped out early after performing poorly in the Democratic primaries.
Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania took him to 284 Electoral College votes in the Associated Press’s count, pushing him over the 270 votes required to claim the presidency.
Trump, who has claimed the election was marred by widespread fraud, was at his golf course in Virginia when the race was called for Biden. Earlier in the day he had tweeted simply: “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
The streets of Democratic-leaning cities such as Washington D.C and New York immediately erupted with honking and cheers when media outlets announced Biden as the nation’s president-elect.
On the cusp of victory the previous night, Biden addressed the nation from Delaware, claiming a mandate from the American people to take strong action on climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism.
While acknowledging that partisan tensions are running high in the country after the bitterly-contested election, Biden said Americans eventually needed to come together.
“Strong disagreements are healthy; they are a sign of a vigorous debate of deeply held views,” he said.
“But we have to remember, the purpose of our politics isn’t total unrelenting on warfare. No, the purpose of our politics, the work of the nation isn’t to fan the flames of conflict but to solve problems.”
Citing the fact that a record 74 million Americans have voted for him, Biden said it was clear that Americans had chosen “change over more of the same”.
“They have given us a mandate for action on COVID and the economy and climate change and systemic racism,” he said.
“They made it clear they want the country to come together – not pull apart . I want everyone to know that on day one, we are going to put our plan to control this virus
into action,” he said. “That can’t save any of the lives that have been lost, but it will save a lot of lives in the months ahead.”