Joe Biden statement on presidential win: “It’s time for America to unite and to heal”

President-elect Joe Biden called for unity in a statement reacting to his election victory on Saturday.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and to come together as a nation,” he said. “It’s time for America to unite and to heal.”

Biden emphasized, too, that a record number of Americans — more than 145 million votes have been counted so far — have voted in this election despite the many challenges that people currently face due to the ongoing pandemic. “I am honored and humbled by the trust that the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Biden wrote.

Harris, in a call with Biden, celebrated the win Saturday, saying, “We did it, Joe — you’re going to be the next president of the United States!”

Decision Desk projected that Biden would win the election on Friday morning, after he took the lead in Pennsylvania. On Saturday, multiple outlets including the Associated Press, CNN, NBC News, ABC and Fox, also called the election for Biden. As of Saturday afternoon, Biden has 279 electoral votes to President Donald Trump’s 214 electoral votes, according to Decision Desk.

Thus far, Biden has already won the most votes of any presidential candidate ever: As Vox’s Anna North reported, Biden has secured just over 75 million votes at this point, breaking a record previously set by former President Barack Obama when he accrued 69.5 million votes in 2008.

This upcoming January, Biden and Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president. Elected during a pandemic that’s had devastating economic and public health fallout, they’ll be in charge of addressing its effects among many other issues.

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Biden’s Saturday statement differed significantly in tone from Trump’s response to the election being called. The president did not concede the race, and instead refused to accept Biden’s victory. Trump also promised to continue contesting electoral outcomes in court. “The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump said, inaccurately.

Biden is expected to deliver a more extensive victory speech on Saturday evening. “We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do if we do it together,” Biden said in his Saturday statement.