Richmond Times-Dispatch

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.

Chinese President

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.

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