Washington, Nov 7 (PTI) Joe Biden was inching towards a historic electoral victory over Republican President Donald Trump on Saturday, with the Democratic candidate declaring that the voting numbers tell a 'clear and convincing story' that he was going to win the race for the White House.
Four days after the November 3 presidential election, votes were still being counted in several key battleground states that will determined the outcome of the presidential race.
The 77-year-old former US vice president was leading in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia where counting of votes is continuing.
As per latest projections, Biden has 253 electoral college votes and Trump trails behind with 213. But some US media outlets have given 264 votes to Biden and 214 to Trump. A winner has to secure at least 270 electoral votes from the 538-member Electoral College.
Given that counting of votes has not concluded in some key battleground states, Biden refrained from declaring victory on Friday night but exuded confidence that he will be the winner when final results are out.
'My fellow Americans, we don’t have a final declaration of victory yet, but the numbers tell a clear and convincing story: We are going to win this race,” Biden said in his address to the nation from his campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.
His running mate Senator Kamala Harris, 56, was also present at the podium. But she did not speak.
Reflecting on the progress made in the vote count in the states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia in the last 24 hours, Biden asserted that he is on track for over 300 electoral college votes.
“And look at the national numbers: We’re going to win this race with a clear majority of the nation behind us. We’ve gotten over 74 million votes. That’s more votes than any presidential ticket has gotten in the history of the United States of America, and our vote total is still growing.
'We’re beating Donald Trump by over 4 million votes, and that margin is still growing as well,” he said.
Trump, 74, has not yet conceded defeat. Infact, he went on to say that his Democratic rival should not wrongfully claim victory.
'Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!” Trump said in a tweet on Friday.
In his address, Biden said the people have given them a mandate for action on COVID and the economy and climate change and systemic racism. 'They made it clear they want the country to come together — not pull apart. The people spoke. More than 74 million Americans. And they spoke loudly for our ticket,” Biden said.
He announced that he will introduce his plans to contain the COVID-19 pandemic on his first day in office.
'On day one, we're going to put our plan to control this virus into action,” he said.
The virus has killed more than 236,000 Americans and infected over 9 million others, making the US the worst-hit nation.
Biden said he and Harris have begun working on the task ahead by focusing on two critical areas of public health and economy, both battered by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we're waiting for the final results, I want people to know we are not waiting to get to work,” Biden said.
'More than 20 million people are on unemployment. Millions are worried about making rent and putting food on the table. Our economic plan will put a focus on a path to a strong recovery,” he said.
Noting that the pandemic is getting significantly more worrisome all across the country, Biden said that daily cases are skyrocketing, and it is now believed that they could see spikes as high as 200,000 cases in a single day.
“The death toll is approaching 240,000 lives lost to this virus. That's 240,000 empty chairs at the kitchen and dinner tables across America,” he said.
'I know tensions can be high after a tough election like we just had,” he said,' reflecting on one of the most divisive and bitter presidential election.
Biden urged his fellow countrymen to remain calm and patient as the vote counting process is still going on in some key battleground states.
“And let the process work out as we count all the votes. “We are proving again what we have proved for 244 years in this country. Democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don't care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen,' he said.
Biden said strong disagreements are inevitable in a democracy, and strong disagreements are healthy. They’re a sign of vigorous debate, of deeply held views, he said.
“But we have to remember: The purpose of our politics isn't total, unrelenting, unending warfare. No. The purpose of our politics, the work of the nation, isn't to fan the flames of conflict - but to solve problems.' Observing that the vast majority want to get the vitriol out of politics, he said: “We’re certainly not going to agree on a lot of the issues - but we can at least agree to be civil to one another. We must put the anger - and the demonisation - behind us.” It is time for the nation to come together as a nation and heal.
“It won't be easy, but we must try. My responsibility as President will be to represent the whole nation. And I want you to know - that I will work as hard for those who voted against me as for those who voted for me. That's the job. It's called a duty of care. For all Americans,” he said.
“We have serious problems to deal with - from COVID to our economy to racial justice to the climate. We don't have any more time to waste on partisan warfare,' Biden added. PTI LKJ RS ZH AKJ AKJ