Taking a presidential tone, President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday in a speech that the country will not lose the “war” in the face of the pandemic and urged citizens to unite, while outgoing President Donald Trump continues to be embroiled in lawsuits over alleged fraud in the last election.
On the occasion of the Thanksgiving holiday, Biden gave a speech from the stage of an empty theater, The Queen, in Wilmington, Delaware, where he resides, in which he introduced himself as the leader of a nation that is suffering from the pandemic but will overcome this trance by appealing to the best of itself.
“Looking back on our history, you will see that it was under the most difficult circumstances that the soul of our nation was forged. And now we find ourselves once again facing a long, hard winter,” said Biden, who went from paternalistic tone, to empathy, to a more presidential tone.
He recalled that in recent months the battle against the coronavirus has “devastated” the country: “It has brought us pain, loss and frustration. It has cost so many lives, 260,000 Americans,” he lamented.
In that sense, he encouraged his compatriots to stay home for Thanksgiving, the most familiar holiday of the year in the U.S., and cited his own case as an example.
BIDEN: “WE ARE AT WAR WITH THE VIRUS”
“We’re going to have a separate Thanksgiving. Jill (his wife) and I will be at our home in Delaware with our daughter and son-in-law. The rest of the family will do the same in small groups,” he said.
And as he did during his campaign for the November 3 election, he used the pandemic to criticize, this time in a veiled way, Trump.
“I know our country is exhausted from the struggle. We have to remember that we are at war with the virus, not with each other, not with each other,” encouraged Barack Obama’s former vice president (2009-2017).
Despite the dark outlook for the country, Biden also wanted to convey a message of hope: “America faces the facts. The U.S. overcomes challenges. We have justice and equality for all people,” said the president-elect, who predicted that “this dark season of division and demonization will give way to light and unity.
He again mentioned Trump indirectly: “In the U.S. we had a full, fair and free election, then we had the results. The people of this nation, the laws of the land, will tolerate nothing else. Through the vote, the noblest instrument of nonviolent protest ever conceived, it will be known again and remembered again that progress is possible.
Biden gave this speech at a time when the cases of covid-19 are multiplying alarmingly in the country.
“Our country is in the midst of a dramatic upsurge in cases, now averaging 160,000 new cases every day, so it would not be a surprise if we were to reach 200,000 in a single day,” he said. Many health systems are at risk of becoming overwhelmed.
Therefore, he called on Americans to take extreme precautions for Thanksgiving, since, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), responsible for airport controls, the current week is the busiest since March, with an average of one million passengers per day since last weekend, despite the recommendation of health authorities not to move.
Biden spoke minutes after Trump made a phone call from the Oval Office to a meeting of Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers who were discussing the allegations without proof that there were irregularities during the election.
TRUMP: “THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED”
In what has become his usual rhetoric since media projections gave Biden the win on November 7, Trump insisted that he was the winner of the election and made unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.
“It is very sad to say that this election was rigged and we cannot let that happen,” he said. And this election has to be overturned because we won in Pennsylvania by a lot, and we won in all of the hinge states by a lot.
Trump reiterated the idea that he has been digging into the issue since the election that the ballots for him disappeared, without providing any evidence of it.
The outgoing president has filed several lawsuits in key states, most of which have been dismissed by the courts.