U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday night urged the nation to “turn the page” so as to unite and heal after the Electoral College vote made his victory official.
The electors on Monday cast 306 votes for Biden and 232 for sitting President Donald Trump based on the 2020 election results in their respective states. To clinch the White House, a candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes of the 538 in total.
“I will be a president for all Americans,” Biden said in his address, listing his urgent work ahead, including getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control and the nation vaccinated, delivering immediate economic help, building the U.S. economy back better and fighting the climate change.
The United States on Monday “passed a grim milestone” with 300,000 coronavirus deaths, Biden lamented, noting that tens of thousands of Americans “in this dark winter of the pandemic” are about to spend Christmas and the new year with a black hole in their hearts.
Biden’s “biggest challenge will be dealing with the end of the coronavirus pandemic; while there is now a vaccine, it needs to be distributed and administered,” Christopher Galdieri, assistant professor at Saint Anselm College, told Xinua in an interview.
“Related to that is putting the economy back together in a way that it will still be there once life returns to something like normal,” he added.
In his speech, Biden also slammed Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, calling the legal maneuver by Trump and his allies “so extreme we’ve never seen it before.”
“Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately and completely rejected this effort,” Biden said, adding that he won more than 81 million popular votes, the most in the U.S. history and about 7 million more than Trump received.
The results of the Electoral College vote will be certified and sent to Congress, the National Archives and to the courts. Congress will certify the results on Jan. 6 as the next step in the presidential transition process.
Despite Monday’s Electoral College vote, Trump and his allies have signaled that they will continue their efforts to overturn the election results.
Earlier on Monday, in the midst of the Electoral College voting across the country, Trump again claimed there was “massive fraud” in the November election. Twitter flagged the president’s tweet with a warning: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Electors in key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona, where Trump had hotly contested but failed, voted with no surprises or defections on Monday.
“Trump’s team has provided no credible evidence for election fraud, so it is little surprise he has lost virtually every court case he has filed. Even judges he has appointed have thrown the cases out and concluded there was no merit to them,” Brookings Institution senior fellow Darrell West told Xinhua in an interview.
Biden is President-elect once he crosses 270 electoral votes and efforts to challenge Biden’s win in Congress are “not going anywhere,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune said Monday.
“It’s time for everybody to move on” after Monday’s Electoral College vote, he told CNN.
Moments after Biden surpassed 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the White House with 55 votes from California, Trump tweeted that Attorney General Bill Barr will step down before Christmas, a move seen as partly an attempt to divert attention from the results of the Electoral College vote.
Earlier this month, Barr revealed that the Justice Department had not found evidence of widespread election fraud that would alter the election results, which represented a public contradiction of Trump’s election fraud claims.
“Whether or not Trump’s legal efforts were sincere … for a certain subset of voters, they now believe this election was irredeemably maladministered and tainted by fraud and that the coming Biden presidency is illegitimate,” Galdieri told Xinhua, noting that the 2020 election has just deepened the nation’s already profoundly divide. Enditem