In speech, Biden urges Americans to come together
WILMINGTON, Del. — In a time of plague and raw division, President- elect 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.
With COVID-19 cases surging nationwide, Biden called on Americans to take precautions to try to slow the spread of the
Transition adviser Jen Psaki said Wednesday that on Monday, Biden will receive his first presidential daily briefing, the regular update on the most sensitive intelligence offered to top U. S. officials.
virus, by wearing masks and practicing social distancing. He said that he himself was taking precautions around Thanksgiving and forgoing 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 continued his effort to upend the election results as his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and other members of his legal team met Republican members of the Pennsylvania Senate in Gettysburg.
There, they again aired grievances about the election and repeated allegations of Democratic malfeasance that have already been rejected by multiple courts.
Trump joined the meeting from the Oval Office, asserting: “This was an election that we won easily. We won it by a lot.” In fact, the election gave Biden a clear mandate and no systemic fraud has been uncovered.
Biden has said turning the tide of the pandemic will be the top priority of his administration once he takes office in January, and he’s made multiple public remarks urging Americans to embrace mask wearing and social distancing guidelines to combat the spread.
The Democratic president-elect has formed a coronavirus advisory board of scientists, doctors and public health experts, and plans to establish a COVID-19 coordinator in the White House to lead his administration’s response.
For the next few days, Biden plans to spend some time on his family. He’s traveling with his wife, Jill, to Rehoboth Beach, Del., the resort town where the two have a vacation home, where they’ll host their family for Thanksgiving dinner.
Biden is expected to stay through the weekend in Rehoboth, before returning to Wilmington for further transition work.
Transition adviser Jen Psaki said Wednesday that on Monday, Biden will receive his first presidential daily briefing, the regular update on the most sensitive intelligence offered to top U.S. officials.
Biden had been blocked from receiving intelligence briefings and his team members had been blocked from contact with their counterparts in the Trump administration due to inaction at the General Services Administration.
Transition adviser Kate Bedingfield said the Biden team will begin briefings with the Trump administration on vaccine distribution, testing and the personal protective equipment supply chain on Wednesday.
Bedingfield says the team has been in touch with FBI and Department of Justice officials about coordinating expedited background checks for Biden’s senior White House staffers and the Cabinet nominees he announced Tuesday.
Xi Jinping congratulated Biden on Wednesday and expressed hope for “winwin cooperation” amid conflicts over trade, technology and security.
China became one of the last major governments to congratulate Biden. There was no explanation for the delay but some commentators suggest Beijing might want to avoid further straining relations with Trump.
In a congratulatory message, Xi told Biden that “healthy and stable” relations were “the common expectation of the international community,” according to a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.
“We hope the two sides will uphold the spirit of non-conflict and nonconfrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, will focus on cooperation, control differences and promote healthy and stable development of Chinese-U.S. relations,” the statement said.