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Biden declines to declare victory, urges Americans to 'put anger and demonization behind'

Biden urges patience until vote counting ends, says he is working on COVID plan.

Updated: November 7, 2020 - 1:43am

Vice President Joe Biden pointedly declined Friday night to declare victory in the overtime 2020 election, instead urging Americans to be patient until vote counting ends and to begin to "put the anger and demonization behind us."

But he did tell Americans that if he wins he believes voters have given him a mandate to address issues from climate change to racial justice. 

In a prime time televised update, Biden said he was using the time while vote counting wraps up to work with his running mate Kamala Harris and experts on a plan to slow a rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus.

"We don't have any more time to waste on partisan warfare," Biden said as vote cuts in several battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nevada have tipped into his favor during marathon ballot counting.

TV networks have projected that Biden has captured nearly enough electoral votes to win the presidency, but President Trump's campaign and its allies are suing in several states to challenge ballots and procedures.

Biden did not appear in a hurry to declare a win, instead suggesting it was fine to let the vote counting wrap up. Instead, he urged Americans, including those who did not vote for him, to use the delay to ease tensions.

"We need to put the anger and demonization behind us.... I'll work as hard for those who voted against me as those who voted for me," he promised.

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