Biden vows to unite America in first address as US president-elect

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Nov 08, 2020, 07.29 AM(IST)

File photo: US President Joe Biden Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Biden was visibly upbeat as he addressed the socially distanced crowd, racing to the podium after an introduction by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own."

Democrat Joe Biden's first address as the United States president-elect had goosebumps written all over it.

Biden was visibly upbeat as he addressed the socially distanced crowd, racing to the podium after an introduction by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own."

"This is the time to heal in America," an ebullient Biden told supporters at an outdoor rally in his home city of Wilmington, Delaware.

"Folks, the people of this nation have spoken. They've delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory," he added.

But he did not discount the contribution of Donald Trump and his supporters for last four years. And the November 3 vote.

He said he understood disappointment, because he too had lost. But now, “Let’s give each other a chance,” he said on Saturday (US time).

Acknowledging the disappointment of Trump supporters, Biden said of them: "They are not our enemies. They are Americans."

"Let this era of demonisation in America begin to end here."

"I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation, the middle class, and to make America respected around the world again," Biden 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," he added.

Emphasising a message of unity, Biden said Democrats and Republicans can decide to work together.

“If we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe this is part of the mandate of the American people, they call on us to cooperate," he said.

Biden hailed the diverse coalition of Americans who came together to elect him president.

“I’m proud of the coalition we put together the broadest and most diverse coalition in history. Democrats, Republicans independents progressives moderates conservatives young old urban, suburban, rural, gay, straight, transgender, white, Latino, Asian, Native Americans. I mean it," he said.

Biden noted he couldn’t have got to where he is without the votes of Black Americans.

“Especially at those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb,” he said, “the African American community stood up again for me.”

In key swing states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia, Black voters were crucial to Democrats’ victory.

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Biden dipped straight into work, as he vowed to name a group top scientists to his coronavirus task force as early as Monday.

"On Monday I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors to help take the Biden-Harris plan and convert it into an actual blueprint that will start on January 20, 2021," he told supporters.

As he concluded his speech, Biden recited a devotional hymn called “On the eagle’s wings”.

“In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau.” he said. 

“It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America.”

Joe Biden will be the second Catholic person to be president.

The national address was followed by fireworks display, which included some classic bursts, as well as the Biden logo spelled out with drone lights, and a US map light display.

Biden stood on stage with his family to watch.

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