Biden seeks unity as Trump stokes fading embers of campaign

On a day of grace and grievance, President-elect Joe Biden summoned Americans to join in common purpose against the coronavirus pandemic and their political divisions while the man he will replace stoked the fading embers of his campaign to “turn the election over.”

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 9:27 AM

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — On a day of grace and grievance, President-elect Joe Biden summoned Americans to join in common purpose against the coronavirus pandemic and their political divisions while the man he will replace stoked the fading embers of his campaign to “turn the election over.”

Biden, in a Thanksgiving-eve address to the nation, put the surging pandemic front and center, pledging to tap the “vast powers” of the federal government and to “change the course of the disease” once in office. But for that to work, he said, Americans must step up for their own safety and that of their fellow citizens.

“I know the country has grown weary of the fight,” Biden said Wednesday. “We need to remember we’re at war with the virus, not with one another. Not with each other.”

President Donald Trump, who has scarcely mentioned the pandemic in recent days even as it has achieved record heights, remained fixated on his election defeat.

He sent his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other members of his legal team to meet Pennsylvania Republican state senators in Gettysburg. Inside a hotel near the hallowed battlefields of civil war, they again aired complaints about the election and repeated allegations of Democratic malfeasance that have already disintegrated under examination by courts.

“We have to turn the election over,” Trump said from the Oval Office, where he joined the meeting by speakerphone.

“This was an election that we won easily,” he said. “We won it by a lot.” In fact, the election gave Biden a clear mandate, and no systemic fraud has been uncovered. Judge after judge has dismissed the Trump campaign’s accusations as baseless, and the transition to Biden’s presidency is fully underway.

Nevertheless, Trump repeated: “This election has to be turned around.”

Trump had been expected to appear in person in Gettysburg, but did not after another member of his legal team tested positive for the coronavirus. Few at the meeting wore masks.

Altogether, the forum heard — and cheered — yet another declaration from a U.S. president seeking to reverse a democratic election and the voters’ will because he wants to stay in power. The setting was about a mile from the scene of Pickett’s Charge, where Union troops repelled a desperate Confederate attack in July 1863 and helped turn the tide of the Civil War.

The president followed up by pardoning former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the second Trump associate convicted in the Russia probe to be granted clemency by Trump.

The pardon was part of a broader effort to undo the results of an investigation that for years has shadowed Trump’s administration and yielded criminal charges against a half dozen associates. The pardon voids the criminal case against Flynn just as a federal judge was deciding whether to grant a Justice Department request to dismiss the prosecution despite Flynn’s own guilty plea to lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts.

For his part, Biden has largely projected serenity as the necessary elements of a presidential transition — money, access to office space and more — were held at bay for nearly three weeks by Trump’s machinations and a delayed ascertainment by the General Services Administration that he had won the election. On Wednesday, he addressed Trump’s raw tactics only in passing.

“Our democracy was tested this year,” Biden said, “but the people of this nation are up to the task.”

“In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results,” he said. “The people of this nation and the laws of the land won’t stand for anything else.”

And he offered an optimistic vision, calling on Americans to “dream again” and predicting that “the 21st century is going to be an American century.”

Biden pledged more virus testing, more protective gear and clearer guidance for businesses and schools to reopen when he becomes president. Until vaccines are distributed, he said, masks, social distancing and limits in the size of gatherings “are our most effective tools to combat the virus.”

Biden’s remarks came as COVID-19 cases are surging nationwide. Hospitalizations, deaths and the testing positivity rate were also up sharply as the nation headed into Thanksgiving, and public health experts have warned that the large family gatherings expected for the holiday are likely to extend and exacerbate the surge.

He 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.

This week, however, Biden focused beyond the crisis stateside and unveiled his national security team on Tuesday, including his nominees for secretary of state, director of national intelligence and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Drawing implicit contrasts with Trump, Biden said the team “reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it.” He’s also expected to name Janet Yellen as treasury secretary in the coming weeks.

In urging Americans to be vigilant in their Thanksgiving plans, Biden said Wednesday he was taking precautions of his own, eschewing his traditional large family gathering and spending the holiday instead with just his wife, daughter and son-in-law.

He’s traveling with his wife, Jill, to Rehoboth Beach, the small Delaware beach town where the two have a vacation home. That’s 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 work on the transition.

Trump will forgo his usual plans to celebrate Thanksgiving at his private club in Florida and will instead remain at the White House.

___

Colvin reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa., contributed to this report.

Terre Haute
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 14°
Robinson
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 15°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Partly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 13°
Paris
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 11°
Mattoon/Charleston
Clear
24° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 13°
Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 14°
Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 14°
Colder but still sunny!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

All You Need to Know for Friday

Image

Friday: Mostly sunny, breezy and colder. High: 30°

Image

A cold and wintry weekend ahead

Image

Crime Stoppers: The gift card thief

Image

Crews investigate Clinton house fire

Image

COVID-19 vaccine update for Vigo County

Image

TH South Bloomington South

Image

Cathedral TH North

Image

Where is the snow?

Image

Local author works to raise money for Terre Haute Humane Society - here's how you can help

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1086333

Reported Deaths: 20423
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4391189148
DuPage699001160
Will58974881
Lake53926901
Kane46512696
Winnebago26504412
Madison24822471
St. Clair22624433
McHenry21916251
Champaign15667104
Peoria15231250
Sangamon14658236
McLean13350168
Tazewell12087249
Rock Island12027304
Kankakee11593185
Kendall981981
LaSalle9595248
Macon8893182
Vermilion7634115
DeKalb756592
Adams7442123
Williamson6247117
Boone558778
Whiteside5317175
Clinton510786
Coles473982
Ogle465171
Knox4640146
Grundy444554
Effingham433470
Jackson424470
Henry404477
Marion4026113
Macoupin391396
Franklin388470
Randolph374970
Livingston369768
Monroe362871
Stephenson356777
Jefferson3493104
Morgan327492
Woodford327067
Logan311557
Montgomery310548
Lee307674
Bureau301984
Christian300775
Fayette293653
Perry273961
Iroquois260558
Fulton258149
Jersey225859
Lawrence219030
McDonough216451
Saline204254
Douglas202134
Union200432
Shelby199135
Crawford179434
Cass176631
Bond176224
Warren159144
Pike157148
Richland155345
Wayne152843
Hancock151134
Jo Daviess150524
Clark150133
Washington146925
Edgar146553
Carroll145133
Ford138851
Moultrie138728
White136330
Clay132240
Greene125743
Johnson122415
Wabash119314
Piatt118216
Mason118041
Mercer117830
De Witt116327
Cumberland110027
Jasper104715
Massac104732
Menard90210
Hamilton72017
Marshall68214
Schuyler63216
Pulaski6203
Brown61311
Stark49520
Edwards4709
Henderson45616
Calhoun4464
Scott3961
Alexander3957
Gallatin3924
Putnam3522
Hardin3078
Pope2533
Unassigned1060
Out of IL320

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 601937

Reported Deaths: 9593
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion831111322
Lake44972678
Allen32498545
Hamilton29039315
St. Joseph27133380
Elkhart24291343
Vanderburgh19160246
Tippecanoe17799130
Johnson14871292
Porter14631167
Hendricks14188247
Madison10851219
Vigo10636178
Clark10520137
Monroe9299110
Delaware9055134
LaPorte8972160
Howard8134142
Kosciusko800382
Warrick665197
Hancock6575103
Bartholomew637999
Floyd6322109
Wayne6076161
Grant5937113
Dubois552578
Boone544967
Morgan530594
Henry503464
Marshall499884
Cass478663
Dearborn470745
Noble468357
Jackson420747
Shelby410781
Lawrence387478
Clinton370642
Gibson365559
DeKalb344264
Montgomery340754
Harrison340544
Knox333139
Miami317344
Steuben311545
Whitley301725
Wabash299747
Adams299035
Ripley296545
Putnam292049
Huntington288659
Jasper287634
White270340
Daviess266073
Jefferson257938
Fayette245148
Decatur244883
Greene238162
Posey236927
Wells233350
LaGrange226361
Scott221838
Clay220932
Randolph212148
Jennings195836
Sullivan190833
Spencer188019
Fountain182127
Washington182022
Starke174443
Jay166322
Owen162837
Fulton162330
Orange156333
Carroll155415
Rush153318
Perry151227
Vermillion147334
Franklin146933
Tipton130932
Parke13018
Pike115626
Blackford110522
Pulaski96137
Newton90521
Brown86833
Benton85910
Crawford7839
Martin72313
Warren6757
Switzerland6455
Union6227
Ohio4787
Unassigned0375