Biden solidifies US election win, Trump appears to admit defeat
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden solidified his election victory on Friday by winning the state of Georgia, and President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge that Biden could succeed him on January 20.
In his first public remarks since last Saturday when Biden was widely projected the winner, Trump appeared to acknowledge for the first time the possibility of an upcoming Biden administration.
However, the Republican president stopped short of conceding the race and did not mention his Democratic rival by name.
Trump also said he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be available for the entire U.S. population as soon as April, as daily COVID-19 infections have reached record highs.
“Ideally, we won’t go to a lockdown. I will not go, this administration will not be going to a lockdown,” he said. “Hopefully the, the – uh – whatever happens in the future - who knows which administration will be. I guess time will tell.”
Criticism of Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which has killed over 235,000 Americans, became a rallying cry for Democrats ahead of the elections.
Biden solidified his victory over Trump on Friday after the state of Georgia went his way, leaving Trump little hope of reversing the outcome through legal challenges and recounts.
Edison Research, which made the Georgia call, also projected that North Carolina, the only other battleground state with an outstanding vote count, would go to Trump, finalizing the electoral vote tally at 306 for Biden to 232 for Trump.
Since the November 3 election, Trump has made repeated accusations of widespread voting fraud in the U.S. The last time Trump spoke, which was two days after the election, he said that if “legal” votes were counted, he would “easily win” the U.S. election.
To win a second term, Trump would need to overturn Biden’s lead in at least three states, but he has so far failed to produce evidence that he could do so in any of them.
States choose electors for the Electoral College, which will officially select the new president on December 14. US presidential inaugurations take place on January 20.