Joe Biden will address the nation as the 46th President of the United States in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. The speech comes hours after he was officially named the president-elect, causing people across the country to take to the streets to celebrate his victory, as well as an outpouring of congratulatory messages from world leaders who were ready to welcome a return to normalcy.
CNN reported earlier today that his speech tonight had already been written, but he would continue to make changes as the time drew near. There have been reports that Biden will echo many of the major talking points he has made throughout his campaign run. The president-elect touched on them again in his statement following his win. "With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation," he said, per The Hill. "It's time for America to unite. And to heal."
Biden is also expected to name his 12-person coronavirus task force on Monday, according to CNN. His desire to hit the ground running with a team to combat a virus that has seen the number of new daily cases in the U.S. rise above the 100,000 mark this week shows just how important he's taking this global health crisis, unlike his predecessor who was resigned to the idea that "we're not going to control the pandemic."
In late October, former President Barack Obama shared a tweet from Biden exactly one year ago where he stated Trump was "not prepared for a pandemic."
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke first, starting off her speech with a quote from the late civil rights leader John Lewis.
As the first female Vice President, Harris took a moment to praise all women, but was especially grateful for the "too often, overlooked" Black women, whom she called "the backbone of our democracy."
The most enthusiastic moment from Biden's impassioned speech came when he slammed his fist on the podium, saying, "Especially in those moments where this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African American community stood up again for me. You always had my back and I'll have yours."
In addition to speaking about his plan to immediately start forming a coronavirus task force team, Biden revisited his vision about creating an administration and campaign that is just as diverse as America. "I wanted to represent this campaign to represent and look like America," he said. "We've done that. Now I want the administration I look like and act like all of you." The New York Times reported Friday that Biden plans on making announcements regarding his Cabinet positions around Thanksgiving.
Biden attempted to appeal to displeased Trump supporters, asking them to "give each other a chance," while citing his own unsuccessful presidential bids in 1998 and 2008.
But as Trump continues to try and plant seeds of doubt about his election win, Biden asserted that it was the people in this country who "delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory."