How Joe Biden spent his first day as President-elect

8 November 2020, 23:03

President-elect Joe Biden went to a church service after his election victory
President-elect Joe Biden went to a church service after his election victory. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Joe Biden made his first speech as the new President-elect of the United States on Saturday evening - but what has he been up to since?

The former Vice President used his maiden speech following Saturday's announcement that he had won the 2020 presidential election to call for Americans to "lower the temperature" and "listen to each other again" after a divisive campaign.

He marked his first full day as President-elect by attending church, having pledged to unify the US during his forthcoming term in the White House.

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Mr Biden, only the second Catholic to be elected to the Oval Office, attended mass on Sunday in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

After the service, he headed in the direction of the cemetery where his son Beau is laid, along with first wife Neilia and their daughter Naomi, who died together in a car crash almost 50 years ago.

Mr Biden clinched victory after winning the key battleground of Pennsylvania on Saturday, some four days after polls closed, pushing him over the 270 electoral college votes threshold.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump spent Sunday morning on the same golf course where the day before he had learned that broadcasters had started calling the election for his Democrat rival.

Upon arrival at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, Mr Trump was greeted by a handful of demonstrators, with one critic displaying a placard reading: "Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall."

Mr Trump has continued to protest at the way the election was handled, taking to social media to lambast how state-by-state results are declared by news outlets in the US.

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"Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be? We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!" he tweeted on Sunday.

The Republican, who served two terms in the White House, said: "Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country."

Mr Bush said his party's candidate Mr Trump held the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges but added: "The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear."

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still waiting on a call with the president-elect as reports suggested the ex-senator would not treat a trade deal with the UK as a priority.

Speaking on Sunday, he congratulated Mr Biden, who he has not met, and vice president-elect Kamala Harris as he made the first advances to woo the new administration, which will be inaugurated in January.

The PM told broadcasters there was "far more that unites" than divides the UK and US, saying: "The United States is our closest and most important ally, and that has been the case president after president, prime minister after prime minister - it won't change."

Asked about whether the election outcome had set back ambitions for a trans-Atlantic trade agreement after Brexit, as some reports suggest, he said he has "never believed" striking a deal was going to be "a complete pushover".

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Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the UK Government, meanwhile, to seize the opportunity of a change of guard in the White House to take a lead on global issues as Britain prepares to step away from the European Union.

"The new president has promised to restore America's alliances and fill the void in global leadership. Britain should welcome this," Sir Keir wrote in an article for The Guardian.

"The two biggest issues facing us all - defeating the coronavirus and tackling climate change - require a joined-up, global effort that has been sorely lacking in recent years.

"For the United States of America and for Britain, this is the time to return to the world stage. This is the time for us to lead."