Joe Biden has pledged to rebuild a country torn apart by multiple crises after four years of chaotic rule from Donald Trump as he called for “this grim era of demonisation” in America to end.
The Democrat said he would be a president “who seeks not to divide, but to unify” in his maiden address as president-elect of the United States.
Speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, he pledged to be a president who “doesn’t see red states or blue states, only sees the United States”.
“Let this grim era of demonisation in America begin to end, here and now,” he said.
He added later: “The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America.”
Biden made clear in the speech that he has two major priorities: slowing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as reuniting a country torn apart by heavily polarised politics and Trump’s harsh rhetoric.
Biden boasted he had put together the “broadest, most diverse coalition in history” in order to win key swing states including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and suggested he would use his time in office to combat climate change, improve health care coverage and battle systemic racism.
He also directly addressed Trump supporters: “I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself But let’s give each other a chance.
“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again.”
Biden also said of Trump supporters: “They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.”
He closed his speech by calling on the nation to come together to “restore the soul of America”.
He said: “Tonight the whole world is watching America and I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.
“We will lead not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”
Meanwhile, a White House official said Trump will “accept the results of a free and fair election”.
They added the Trump administration is following all statutory requirements that govern government transitions.