Joe Biden Is Declared the President-Elect
After a drawn out post-election-day period, the Associated Press finally called the race for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden. News organizations including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Breitbart, and Fox News corroborated this projection. This came after the count in Pennsylvania surpassed any recoverable margin for President Trump, putting Biden over the 270 electoral college votes needed to win. Wins in swing states like Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin boosted Biden with narrow margins over the incumbent, regaining areas that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.
President-Elect Biden makes history as the oldest President to enter office, receiving the most popular votes of any presidential candidate ever. This election, record numbers of voters cast mail-in ballots, and several states broke total voter turn-out records.
After a slew of systematic misinformation and allegations of widespread voter fraud, President Trump has refused to concede, and his campaign is hoping to overturn the election through a series of lawsuits and recounts. However, legal experts and election officials have cast doubt on whether this will have any serious consequence. President Trump is the fourteenth president ever to lose reelection.
Kamala Harris, First Woman of Color as Vice President
With Joe Biden winning the 2020 election, his running mate, former Senator Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman and person of color to assume the role of Vice President. Coming from Jamaican and Indian descent, she has stated that she knows about the struggle of minorities in America, and knows how long the road to racial justice will be.
She had already been making history – when elected as Senator in 2016, she was only the second Black woman to be seated in the chamber. She was also the first Black woman to be the attorney general of California. She has an extraordinarily accomplished political career, in which she is now adding Vice President to the list of her distinguished titles.
Although she has generally been a champion of Democratic policy, she is also heavily criticized for her former beliefs, especially her attacks in the primary elections on her running mate, Joe Biden. She has also suffered many misogynistic and racist attacks from people all over the political world.
Through Kamala Harris, we now see for the very first time, representation for women and women of color in the Executive Branch. As Joe and Kamala secure the win, we now are left to wonder how this team will work together, and how America will change because of them.
United States Leaves the Paris Climate Agreement
Donald Trump has been speaking about leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, a coalition of countries who have been actively working to fight climate change since 2017. There are 195 countries that originally signed the agreement, but only 189 went through with it. Angola, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Turkey, Yemen, and South Sudan also signed the agreement but never sanctioned it. On November 4th, the official withdrawal paperwork for the US’s withdrawal from the agreement was filled out, ending American involvement in this global effort.
Trump endorsed this action because he believed it would negatively affect the United States economy. When Trump first announced that the United States would be leaving the Paris Agreement in 2017, the president stated the following: “The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers — who I love — and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”
Although the United States is almost officially out of this agreement right now, future leaders of the U.S. can always rejoin it, an action President-elect Biden is looking to take as soon as he can.
Chief of Staff and Others Contract Coronavirus
Mark Meadows, the White House Chief of Staff, tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, making him the latest high-profile addition to the five other White House officials who tested positive in the days around the election. Meadows was seen maskless at an election party for the President, and has made not wearing a mask in public a habit. This comes as the United States struggles with a second wave, reporting record numbers of new cases. The highest caseload in a day was clocked in at 132,797 cases on Friday. Experts and medical officials urge caution and predict worse outcomes if drastic measures are not taken soon.