President-elect Joe Biden calls for unity and responsible action to contain the deadly surge of Coronavirus across the US.
Speaking from a historic theater in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden urged hope, even as daily deaths reached their highest point since May:
Looking back over our history, you see that it’s been in the most difficult circumstances that the soul of our nation has been forged….
I know the country has grown weary of the fight. We need to remember we’re at war with the virus, not with one another, not with each other.
As Biden spoke, the US death toll reached 262,222, with 2,243 fatalities in 24 hours — the second straight day of more than 2,000 deaths.
Confirmed cases are 12,772,653, with another 173,931 on Wednesday.
Biden did not refer to Donald Trump, who spent the day tweeting, calling his attorney Rudy Giuliani to prop up disinformation and unsupported claims of a “stolen election”, and pardoning Michael Flynn, a central figure in the Trump-Russia affair.
But the President-elect offered a contrast with his call — alongside medical and public health experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci — for Americans to wear face masks, practice social distancing, and limit the size of gatherings during and beyond the holidays.
He said promising news of effective vaccines are an incentive to every American to take these simple steps to get control of the virus. There’s real hope, tangible hope. So hang on.”
Many local health systems are at risk of being overwhelmed,” he said. “That’s the plain and simple truth. Nothing made up, it’s real. I believe you always deserve to hear the truth, hear the truth from your president.” He added, “Each of us has a responsibility in our own lives to do what we can do to slow the virus.
Speaking minutes after Trump staged his phone call to Giuliani, who was addressing a group of Republican legislators in Pennsylvania, Biden said, “Our democracy was tested this year. What we learned is this: The people of this nation are up to the task. In America, we have full and fair and free elections. And then we honor the results.”
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania further established Biden’s 306-232 victory in the Electoral College with certification of its results. The confirmation followed those of other key states such as Georgia and Michigan.