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Biden preaches unity, promises to address coronavirus crisis in first speech as president-elect

Biden will win the presidential election, Fox News Decision Desk projects


President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday night claimed "a clear victory" and preached unity as he addressed supporters in Wilmington, Del., after earlier in the day taking a projected victory in a contentious presidential election.


The remarks by Biden came hours after the Fox News Decision Desk projected that he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will defeat President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, denying them a second term. 


"The people of this nation have spoken. They delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory. A victory for we the people," Biden said. "The most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation."


Biden was projected the winner of the presidential election after days of vote-counting, but secured more than 75 million votes, just over 50% of the national popular vote. As of Saturday evening, he is projected to get at least 290 electoral votes with a handful more on the table. 

Biden's claim of victory, however, is not uncontested. In one tweet Saturday Trump said, despite the vote totals favoring Biden, "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!"


Biden called the celebrations that broke out across the country Saturday "an outpouring of joy, hope, renewed faith that tomorrow will bring a better day. He said "I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. Who doesn't see red states and blue states, only sees the United States."


"I understand the disappointment tonight," Biden told Trump supporters. "But now let's give each other a chance. It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature... To make progress we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies, they are Americans."


The president-elect also said that he wants the parties to begin "to cooperate with one another," calling polarization between the parties "a choice."


"If we can decide not to cooperate then we can decide to cooperate," Biden said, claiming cooperation as part of the "mandate" from his election. "They want us to cooperate in their interest, and that's the choice I'll make."


Also part of Biden's mandate was to address the coronavirus crisis, an issue that defined the presidential campaign and which many say potentially lead to his victory.


"Our work begins with getting COVID under control," Biden said, noting his plan to announce a panel of coronavirus advisers for his transition team. He added that Americans will not be able to experience "all the moments that matter most to us until we get it under control."


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