Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election, the Associated Press projected Saturday, sending President Trump to a bitter defeat four years after he shocked the world by winning the White House with victory over Hillary Clinton. Biden is moving ahead with his plans to govern, while Trump is refusing to concede defeat. Yahoo News is providing complete coverage and instant updates of the transition in the blog below.
The Associated Press called the presidential election for Joe Biden on Saturday after projecting he would win Pennsylvania. Kamala Harris, shattering racial and gender barriers, made history as first woman to be elected vice president.
President Trump is refusing to concede the race, making baseless claims that the election was stolen and vowing to fight the result in court.
The latest on key races
• Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona: The AP called Pennsylvania for Biden on Saturday, him more than the 270 electoral votes he needed to secure the presidency. Nevada was called for Biden shortly thereafter. The AP called Arizona for Biden around 2:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
• Georgia: Biden leads Trump more than 10,000 votes, and the secretary of state has already announced that there will be a recount.
• North Carolina: Trump has a lead, but this race remains too early to call.
Electoral vote count
A candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes — a majority of the 538 votes in the Electoral College — to become president of the United States. Here’s where the count currently stands:
Joe Biden: 290
Donald Trump: 214
COVID and the election
While the votes continue to be counted, the number of U.S. coronavirus cases continues to climb. More than 9.9 million have been infected so far in the U.S., and more than 237,00 have died.
Which President Trump still refusing to concede defeat, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, released a carefully-worded statement congratulating President-elect Biden on “his apparent victory” and urging patience while Trump works through the “process” of contesting the election results.
Most of her Republican colleagues in the Senate have yet to publicly congratulate Biden.
In what amounts to his first major post-election personnel move, President Trump announced on Twitter Monday that he had fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Esper had reportedly prepared a resignation letter last week amid reports that Trump had planned to fire him. But Politico reported over the weekend that Trump was not expected to terminate Esper, who had clashed with the president over the withdrawal of U.S. forces from key bases abroad, using active-duty troops to quell domestic protests and banning Confederate symbols.
Back in June, after Pentagon officials announced it would consider the removal of Confederate leaders’ names from Army bases, Trump tweeted this:
“My Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”
Trump also reportedly erupted over Esper’s ban on displaying the Confederate flag.
Speaking in Wilmington, Del., Monday, President-elect Joe Biden announced his COVID-19 advisory board during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re ready to get to work addressing the needs of the American people,” Biden said. “Today, that work begins. It starts by doing everything possible to get the COVID-19 under control.”
Biden said that he will employ a robust contact tracing program — something that the Trump administration failed to do.
The president-elect also urged Americans to put political differences aside and wear masks to slow the spread of coronavirus, which has killed more than 237,000 Americans, and infected nearly 10 million.
“I implore you, wear a mask,” Biden said. “Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement.”
“I will spare no effort to turn this pandemic around once we’re sworn in on January,” Biden continued. “To get our kids back to school safely. To get our businesses growing and to get our economy running at full speed again. And to get an approved vaccine manufactured and distributed as quickly as possible to as many Americans as possible free of charge.”
Earlier Monday, Biden welcomed the announcement by Pfizer Inc. that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90 percent effective, but stressed the “end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.”
He added: “We’ll follow the science. We’ll follow the science, let me say that again.”
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, his office announced. In a statement, it said that Carson is “in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”
Carson attended the election night party at the White House, where nearly all attendees were not wearing masks.
President Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., on Sunday. (Steve Helber/AP)
Pfizer Inc. said on Monday that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90 percent effective and the company will seek an emergency use authorization, providing hope that a coronavirus vaccine could soon be on the horizon.
President-elect Joe Biden, who is preparing to announce a coronavirus advisory board later Monday, issued a statement saying his public health advisors were briefed on the development Sunday night.
Statement by President-elect Joe Biden on Pfizer’s Vaccine Progress
Last night, my public health advisors were informed of this excellent news. I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope.
At the same time, it is also important to understand that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away. This news follows a previously announced timeline by industry officials that forecast vaccine approval by late November. Even if that is achieved, and some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country.
This is why the head of the CDC warned this fall that for the foreseeable future, a mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine. Today’s news does not change this urgent reality. Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn’t change that fact.
America is still losing over 1,000 people a day from COVID-19, and that number is rising — and will continue to get worse unless we make progress on masking and other immediate actions. That is the reality for now, and for the next few months. Today’s announcement promises the chance to change that next year, but the tasks before us now remain the same.
President-elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus task force on Monday to examine the No. 1 problem confronting him when he takes office in January, while President Donald Trump pursues several long-shot gambits to hold on to his job.
Biden is due to meet with an advisory board co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Yale University Associate Professor Marcella Nunez-Smith to examine how best to tame a pandemic that has killed more than 237,000 Americans.
The Democratic former vice president will then give remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, about his plans for tackling COVID-19 and rebuilding the economy.
A view of the Kremlin’s Spasskaya tower and St. Basil’s Cathedral in central Moscow on June 29, 2020. (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)
The Kremlin said on Monday it would wait for the official results of the U.S. presidential election before commenting on its outcome, and that it had noted incumbent Donald Trump’s announcement of legal challenges related to the vote.
President Vladimir Putin has remained silent on the issue since Democrat Joe Biden clinched the presidency on Saturday, four days after the Nov. 3 election, clearing the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
In the vote’s run-up, Putin had appeared to hedge his bets, frowning on Biden’s anti-Russian rhetoric but welcoming his comments on nuclear arms control. Putin had also defended Biden’s son, Hunter, against criticism from Trump.