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Joe Biden Appeals for Unity in Thanksgiving-Eve Address

Joe Biden Appeals for Unity in Thanksgiving-Eve Address
(Getty)

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 03:28 PM

In a time of plague and raw division, Joe Biden appealed for unity Wednesday in a Thanksgiving-eve address to the nation asking Americans to “steel our spines” for a fight against the coronavirus that he predicted would continue for months.

But even as he implored Americans to join in healing and common purpose, President Donald Trump asserted that the election should be overturned, a call critics say is stoking the divisions Biden is trying to overcome.

With COVID-19 cases surging nationwide, Biden called on Americans to take precautions to try to stem the tide of the virus, by wearing masks and practicing social distancing. He said that he himself was taking precautions around Thanksgiving and eschewing his traditional large family gathering, instead spending the holiday with just his wife, daughter and son in law.

“This is the moment when we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to this fight,” Biden said in remarks in Wilmington on Wednesday. “We’re all in this together.”

But Trump stoked the embers of effort to upend the election results as his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and other members of his legal team met Pennsylvania Republican state senators in Gettysburg. There, they again aired grievances about the election and repeated allegations of Democratic malfeasance that have so far gained little traction in the courts. 

Trump joined the meeting from the Oval Office, asserting: “This was an election that we won easily. We won it by a lot.” Arguments of systemic fraud have to date not been upheld in various court challenges.

Biden's remarks came as COVID-19 cases are surging nationwide. Hospitalizations, deaths and the testing positivity rate were also up sharply as the nation approached Thanksgiving, and public health experts have warned that the large family gatherings expected for the holiday are likely to extend and exacerbate the surge.

Biden has said turning the tide of the pandemic will be the top priority of his administration once he takes office. He’s made multiple public remarks urging Americans to embrace mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines to combat the spread. The Democrat also formed a coronavirus advisory board of scientists, doctors and public health experts, and he plans to establish a COVID-19 coordinator in the White House to lead his administration’s response.

This week, however, Biden focused beyond the crisis stateside and unveiled his national security team on Tuesday, including his nominees for secretary of state, director of national intelligence and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Drawing implicit contrasts with President Donald Trump throughout the event, Biden said that the team “reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it.” He's also expected to name Janet Yellen as treasury secretary in the coming weeks.

The Biden team has also begun the next phase of its transition preparations after the Trump-appointed head of the General Services Administration declared Biden the “apparent winner” of the election, removing a major roadblock to cooperation between Biden’s staff and their counterparts in the Trump administration.

Trump has refused to concede the election, and his campaign continues to pursue legal challenges to the vote in some states. But the GSA's ascertainment of Biden's win means the transition can proceed regardless of the Republican president's resistance.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


   
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In a time of plague and raw division, Joe Biden appealed for unity Wednesday in a Thanksgiving-eve address to the nation asking Americans to "steel our spines" for a fight against the coronavirus that he predicted would continue for months. But even as he implored Americans...
Biden
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2020-28-25
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 03:28 PM
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