Democratic candidate Joe Biden has won the U.S. presidential election, major U.S. news outlets are projecting.
CNN, NBC and USA Today were among the outlets that have projected a win for the former vice president in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. That would give Biden 273 Electoral College votes, putting him just past the 270 threshold needed to win the election.
The Associated Press pegs the current tally at 290 for Biden and 214 for U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump, however, has not conceded and is unlikely to anytime soon. In a statement released shortly after the projections of Biden's victory, he said: "We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don't want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over." He went on to accuse the Biden campaign of counting illegal ballots and threatened legal action in the week ahead. His statement is in line with sweeping conspiracy theories the president promoted in a press conference on Thursday, without evidence.
Trump's tweets were flagged multiple times by Twitter Thursday for containing misinformation about the election. At one point the president tweeted "STOP THE COUNT!" in all caps.
"It's time for America to unite. And to heal," Biden said in a statement following the projections. "With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation." He is expected to give a national address Saturday night.
An Election Like No Other: Americans chose the next president in an election held during a raging coronavirus pandemic, with millions of absentee ballots upending previous timelines for vote counting and results.
The president himself contracted the virus during the campaign, announcing his diagnosis on Twitter and spending several days at Walter Reed Medical Center.
A false victory claim by Trump early Wednesday; baseless accusations of election fraud; litigation, including lawsuits thrown out by judges in Michigan and Georgia; and skirmishes at vote counting locations in Detroit and Phoenix lent an air of instability to the country's core democratic process this week.
The stock market this week rallied on the rising prospects for a Democrat-led White House and Republican-led Senate. The resulting gridlock would put the brakes on sweeping Democratic changes, namely a potential increase in taxes and regulation.
The three major U.S. indexes recorded their best week of trading since April. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.87% during the week, opening with 26,787.65 and closing at 28,323.40. The NASDAQ Composite Index started the week at 11,001.70 and closed it at 11,895.23, growing by 9, 01%. The S&P 500 gained 7.32% over the week, closing at 3,509.44.
The Incoming Biden-Harris Administration: Biden, 77, served as a U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009 before becoming vice president under President Barack Obama for two terms.
In 2017, Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Kamala Harris, 56, will be the first female and the first African American to hold the office of vice president in U.S. history. Harris served as California’s attorney general before her election to the U.S. Senate in 2016.
What's Ahead For Biden: The most urgent priority facing the Biden administration is unquestionably the coronavirus, a pandemic downplayed by Trump that is surging nationally in a second wave of infections and that has led to historic economic contraction and job losses.
The U.S. hit more than 120,000 daily cases for the first time on Thursday and then hit nearly 130,000 on Friday, according to Reuters.
More than 9.8 million Americans have become infected this year and more than 237,000 have died.
Biden is returning to a White House rocked by the scandals of an impeached president whose family members have been intertwined with his official duties and who has made name-calling and the daily uttering of lies hallmarks of his presidency.
On the world stage, Trump has often shown warmth toward strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, turning the post-World War II foreign policy of the U.S. upside down.
Trump was impeached late last year by the House of Representatives on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, accused of interfering with a House investigation of Trump’s request to the Ukranian president to investigate Biden and his son Hunter.
Dustin Blitchok contributed to this story.
Benzinga file photo by Dustin Blitchok.
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