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Nov. 7, 2020, 9:52 p.m. EST

Biden pledges to work for unity and combat the coronavirus in victory speech

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Robert Schroeder

Joe Biden on Saturday vowed to work to unify the nation after a bitterly fought campaign against Donald Trump, telling Americans in a spirited victory speech that he would be a president for all.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify,” the former vice president said, “who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.”

Biden was joined by his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, hours after the Associated Press and major U.S. networks called the race for the former vice president over President Trump. The pair spoke in Wilmington, Del.

Read: Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump to become 46 U.S. president

Harris, who will become the nation’s first female vice president, spoke before Biden and said voters had ushered in “a new day for America.”

“You chose hope and unity, decency, science and, yes, truth,” said the California Democrat, who began her speech by quoting the late civil-rights leader and congressman John Lewis. Harris will be the first woman, the first Black person and the first South Asian American to become vice president.

See: Why Kamala Harris as America’s first female vice president ‘completely disrupts the status quo’

Even as Biden and Harris spoke, Trump was contesting the election, alleging fraud in the results and promising to fight in court starting Monday. Experts have said, however, that there is no basis for his claims.  

Now read: The next steps before Joe Biden is officially declared the 46th president of the United States

The Biden-Trump contest was fought amid the devastating blow dealt by the coronavirus to American workers and businesses, and Biden pledged to prioritize the fight against it.

“Folks, our work begins with getting COVID under control. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments … all the moments that matter most to us, until we get it under control,” he said.

Biden said he would on Monday name a group of scientists and experts to convert his pandemic-fighting plans into a blueprint for action after he is inaugurated.

As MarketWatch reports, analysts said U.S. stock prices /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.75% are poised to move higher in the wake of a declared winner and the end of election uncertainty.

Read: Here’s what a Biden presidency spells for stocks, bonds and commodities

Biden’s proposals will not automatically have an easy path in Congress, however. Senate control remains undecided but is likely to remain in Republican hands after a pair of runoffs in Georgia in January. A Republican Senate would throw up immediate obstacles to plans like a “public option” health-care plan and tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans.

Read on: Democrats’ longshot bid to win back the Senate rides on a pair of Georgia Senate races

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