Biden calls for unity in election victory speech

US President-elect Joe Biden with wife Jill Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
US President-elect Joe Biden with wife Jill Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS
US President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
US President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: AFP
US vice-president elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
US vice-president elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
US President-elect Joe Biden with his family in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
US President-elect Joe Biden with his family in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS
US President-elect Joe Biden greets the family of vice-president-elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
US President-elect Joe Biden greets the family of vice-president-elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: AFP
US President-elect Joe Biden with his grandson in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
US President-elect Joe Biden with his grandson in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: AFP
People watch as US President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
People watch as US President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA
People celebrate in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
People celebrate in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS
People watch US vice-president elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.
People watch US vice-president elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS
People celebrate in Washington on Nov 7, 2020.
People celebrate in Washington on Nov 7, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

President-elect Joe Biden called for unity on Saturday night, appealing to Americans, including those who did not vote for him, to come together and begin the process of healing.

"I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn't see red states or blue states, but only sees the United States," he said in a victory speech delivered outside the Chase Centre in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, in his first remarks as President-elect.

Getting Covid-19 under control in the US, where the virus has claimed nearly 240,000 lives and more than 100,000 new cases are being reported each day, will be Mr Biden's top priority.

He has also claimed a mandate to secure healthcare for Americans, achieve racial justice and address climate change.

Mr Biden said in a speech that focused heavily on themes of reconciliation and hope that he will announce his own task force to deal with the pandemic today, before even naming his Cabinet.

The former vice-president and long-time Delaware senator was declared the winner on Saturday morning, after a hotly contested and occasionally rancorous presidential election that underscored America's deep divisions.

Mr Biden has amassed 290 electoral votes, more than the 270 needed for victory, noted the Associated Press, which has called Arizona for him, though not all media outlets have done so.

Counting continued in the swing state of Georgia, where Mr Biden's lead had increased to 10,000 votes by yesterday morning. Winning Georgia would bring him to 306 electoral votes, more than the 304 netted by President Donald Trump in 2016.

Mr Trump has not conceded the race and remained largely silent on Saturday, except for a pair of tweets in which he decried the election result as manufactured. He repeated baseless allegations of voter fraud yesterday. "I won the election, got 71,000,000 legal votes," he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Biden has 75.2 million votes and counting.

Leaders from around the world congratulated Mr Biden on his win, although America's top trading partner Mexico notably abstained.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote on Facebook that Singapore looked forward to working with the Biden administration to deepen the partnership between both countries, enhance America's role in the Asia-Pacific, and overcome Covid-19.

"You can count on Singapore to remain a friend and partner," said PM Lee.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2020, with the headline 'Biden calls for unity in election victory speech'. Subscribe