After four decades of public service, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has been elected as the 46th president of the United States and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has become the first African American to become vice president.
“I am honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden said at 11:52 a.m. Saturday. “The work ahead of us will be hard but I promise this: I will be a president for all Americans-whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith you have placed in me.”
Biden’s victory was sealed by voters in the state of Pennsylvania whose 3,345,906 votes placed him over President Trump’s 3,311,448 votes in the race for the Keystone State’s 20 electoral college votes as tallies in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada were still being counted Nov. 7.
With Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, Biden exceeded the 270-threshold needed for a candidate to declare victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Harris, in a tweet, said, “This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me. It is about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.”
Though Biden achieved 290 electoral votes to Trump’s 214 votes by Saturday morning, the president said in a White House statement Friday night that he had no plans of conceding the election and his lawyers have filed lawsuits in several states where the vote totals are still being counted.
“If you count the legal votes I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
From Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del., to downtown Philadelphia, the news of Biden’s electoral victory was met with cheers by diverse crowds while in other segments of the country, Trump supporters expressed concern and fear about the future.
“I am very happy that Joe Biden [won] and my main concern is that health care is not taken away from people who desperately need it,” said Belinda Bonds, 59, a registered nurse from Townsend, Del. “I have been a nurse for 35 years and people need their health care more than ever.”
Bonds, who works as operating room nurse at Baltimore Shock Trauma, said, “Due to the COVID-19 crisis if the Affordable Care Act had been taken away, people of all races would have lost life-saving treatment. I believe that Biden and Harris will be a wonderful team because they have the nation in their heart.”
Former President Barack Obama said in a tweet, “Congratulations to my friends, @joeBiden and @kamalaHarris-our next President and Vice-President of the United States.”
Black Lives Matter Plaza was packed and in a tweet, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “The past few days and weeks we have seen the true power of democracy-millions of Americans going to the polls and sending their ballots in the midst of a pandemic-to make their voices heard.”
Tom Liebrand, 59, a federal worker from Upper Marlboro, supported President Trump. He said in response to Biden’s apparent victory, “My hope as a Christian and as a citizen of Heaven, no matter who is in office that the principles that America was founded on will be upheld and embraced especially those principles like freedom, liberty and the rule of law.”
Allison Prince, a Montgomery County Public School administrator from Bowie, said, “Being an alum of Syracuse University where Joe Biden received his law degree and being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority [AKA], Inc., I am so full of joy to witness history in real team.”
Harris pledged AKA on the campus of Howard University where she graduated in 1986.