Instant Library - Oct-Dec 2020
Israel / USA / Eire - US Presidential Election
Story No.: G13420
Date: 12/21/2020 12:00 AM
Tel Aviv billboard: 'God bless Donald & Melania'
Tel Aviv - 4 October 2020
1. Billboard showing US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, with text, reading (English) "God bless you, Donald & Melania"
Whitmer: Trump giving hate groups 'safe harbor'
Traverse City, Michigan - 9 October 2020
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, (D) Michigan
"I think the president has given safe harbor to hate organizations and domestic terror organizations. He has done it in the middle of debates"
Long lines as early voting begins in N. Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina - 15 October 2020
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Kay Tawney, voter:
"I think this is the most important election in the history of our country and I wanted to make sure my voice counts."
Trump: time to send message to liberal hypocrites
Erie, Pennsylvania - 20 October 2020
4. Wide of rally starting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) US President Donald Trump:
" And it's time to send a message to these wealthy liberal hypocrites by delivering Joe Biden, sleepy Joe, a thundering defeat on November 3rd."
6. Wide of Trump dancing
Trump supporters and opponents scuffle in New York
++PLEASE NOTE: UPSOUND INCLUDES EXPLETIVE++
New York - 25 October 2020
7. People with "Chinese American Alliance for Trump" banner, chanting
8. Man shouting "Hater!" audible amid crowd
9. Man shouts "You're a hater"
Biden, Obama join forces to rally voters to polls
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan - 31 October 2020
10. Wide of former US president Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at a campaign event
Timelapse of White House sunrise after election day
Washington DC - 4 November 2020
11. Time lapse footage of White House with sun rising in behind
Counting continues in crucial state of Michigan
Detroit - 4 November 2020
12. Various of officials processing ballot at TCF Center in downtown Detroit
Beauty shots of Washington as vote count continues
Washington DC - 4 November 2020
13. Various of US Capitol and US Supreme Court, people on the street
All eyes on Georgia as vote counting continues
Atlanta, Georgia - 4 November 2020
14. Various of election workers counting ballots
Trump team decries Pennsylvania vote count process
Philadelphia - 5 November 2020
15. Various of Corey Lewandowski and Pam Bondi
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Pam Bondi, Donald Trump campaign lawyer
"that they are suppressing the election results, the legal election results because they will not let us look at the ballot
Nevada AG: our state has 'fair, free' elections
Las Vegas - 5 November 2020
17. Various ballot counting
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Attorney General Aaron Ford, (D) Nevada:
"At the end of the day, our state has demonstrated that it knows how to have fair, free and secure elections and that's what we're seeing happening right now."
Vegas Trump supporters chant 'don't steal the vote'
Las Vegas - 5 November 2020
19. Various of Trump supporters protesting, chanting, UPSOUND (English) "don't steal the vote"
Phoenix protesters chant 'stop the illegal vote'
Phoenix, Arizona - 5 November 2020
20. Protesters outside Maricopa County election center, UPSOUND chanting "Stop the illegal vote"
21. Various of protesters with weapons
Celebrations in Joe Biden's ancestral Irish hometown
Ballina, Ireland - 7 November 2020
22. Man on ladder fixing American flags which line shops and bars
23. Woman posing with American flag
24. SOUNDBITE (English) Joe Blewitt, Joe Biden's cousin:
Blewitt: "We've met him a good few times now, backing over, and we have very good bonds with him"
25. Biden supporters celebrating
Biden supporters in Philadelphia celebrate victory
Philadelphia - 7 November 2020
26. SOUNDBITE (English) Charles Pearce, Biden supporter:
"To me (Joe Biden's victory) means everything. My mother is a disabled woman who is on Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare, and to know that Donald Trump is out and he can no longer mess with those programs is amazing."
27. People in cars honking horns
Ga. Trump supporters hold 'Stop the Steal' rally
Atlanta - 7 November 2020
28. Pan of Trump supporters with flags chanting "Stop the Steal"
Thousands celebrate Biden victory in Washington
Washington DC - 7 November 2020
29. Various of thousands of supporters of US President-elect Joe Biden celebrating in the streets
30. Top shots of celebrations
Trump lawyer mocks networks calling Biden victory
Philadelphia, USA - 7 November 2020
31. US President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani speaking at lectern, UPSOUND (English): Reporter
Reporter: "The call. The call, It was called for Joe Biden."
Giuliani: "Because they don't decide the election, the call for Joe Biden...who was it called by?"
Reporter: "All the networks."
Giuliani: "Oh my goodness. All the networks. Wow! All the networks. We have to forget about the law. Judges don't count. All the networks. All the networks. All the networks thought Biden was going to win by 10%. Gee, what happened? Come on. Don't be, don't be ridiculous. Networks don't get to decide elections. Courts do."
Trump supporters refuse to accept election defeat
Las Vegas - 7 November 2020
32. Protester carrying rifle at "Stop the Steal" rally
33. Mid, man armed with gun
34. SOUNDBITE (English) Lisa Gapero, Trump Supporter:
"You look at it and it's the press that called it, and it's fully proof that the press is manipulating and propagandizing this whole election. They're brainwashing people. You can see it clearly."
Biden welcomes Harris into his extended family
Wilmington, Delaware - 7 November 2020
35. Close-up US Vice Presidential-elect Kamala Harris, her husband Douglas Emhoff and her grand-nieces standing with the Biden family
Biden, Harris hold coronavirus Task Force meeting
Wilmington, Delaware - 9 November 2020
36. Wide of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris listening to Virus Task Force via Zoom
37. Mid of meeting
Biden chooses Ron Klain as chief of staff
Washington, DC - 22 October 2014
38. Wide of then US President Barack Obama meeting with Ron Klain, new coordinator for the government's Ebola response
39. Mid of Klain during meeting with Obama in the Oval Office
Biden: Trump is the 'most irresponsible president'
Wilmington, Delaware - 19 November 2020
40. SOUNDBITE (English) Joe Biden, U.S. President-elect:
" And what the president is doing now is, is really. It's going to be another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history.
Biden taps Janet Yellen for Treasury Secretary
ARCHIVE: Washington, DC - 14 November 2013
41. Janet Yellen, then Federal Reserve Chair nominee, swearing oath
ARCHIVE: Washington DC - 20 September 2017
42. Wide of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen taking a seat for news conference
Mary Trump: For Pres. Trump 'winning is so important and he always deserves to win that it's OK to lie, cheat and steal'
New York - 3 December 2020
43. SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Trump, President Trump's Niece:
"In his view, winning is so important and he always deserves to win that it's OK to lie, cheat and steal. You know, it's not the process. It's getting the win in your column.
Biden picks Lloyd Austin as defense secretary
ARCHIVE: Baghdad, Iraq - 29 November 2011
44. Then US Vice President Joe Biden getting out of aircraft and being greeted by US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey and US General Lloyd Austin
ARCHIVE: Baghdad, Iraq - 11 December 2008
45. Austin talking to his troops
US Electoral College vote formalizes Biden victory
Sacramento, California - 14 December 2020
46. SOUNDBITE (English) Shirley Weber, (D) California Assemblymember:
"For Joseph R. Biden of Delaware, a Democrat, ayes 55, no's, zero."
47. Electors cheering
Biden to name Buttigieg for Transportation chief
Lebanon, New Hampshire - 8 February 2020
48. South Bend Mayor and former US Democratic Presidential contender Pete Buttigieg entering New Hampshire rally
Des Moines, Iowa - 2 February 2020
49. Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Buttigieg on stage
Biden set to pick Gina McCarthy as US climate czar
ARCHIVE: Washington, DC - 11 August 2015
50. Then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking at news conference
ARCHIVE: Washington, DC - 28 June 2016
51. Then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking at a Justice Department news conference
Kamala Harris campaigns with Ossoff, Warnock
Columbus, Georgia - 21 December 2020
52. Kamala Harris, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff waving at the crowd
53. SOUNDBITE (English) Raphael Warnock, Democratic nominee for Senate:
"We want to say to the rest of the country, welcome to the new Georgia, welcome to the blue Georgia."
54. SOUNDBITE (English) Jon Ossoff, Democratic nominee for Senate:
"Georgia has the power to decide where we go from here
A large billboard offering support to US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump could be seen in Tel Aviv on October 4th.
The sign reading "God bless you, Donald & Melania" was erected after the news Trump and wife had both tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump went through a "very concerning" period October 2nd and faces a "critical" next two days in his fight against COVID-19, his chief of staff said October 3rd.
The US president remained at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as of early October 4th.
While greeting voters in a Traverse City, Michigan neighborhood, October 9th, Governor Gretchen Whitmer called for a stronger stance against extremism targeted at state officials.
October 8th, federal authorities announced they foiled a plot to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home before the November 3rd election.
"I think that it's a very real threat to our democracy. There's no question that these hate groups are domestic terrorists and I think we need to call them that, frankly," she said.
Thirteen men are facing various charges in both federal and state court in the plot to kidnap Whitmer and storm the Michigan capitol to seek a "civil war."
In between greeting voters, Whitmer called out the role she says President Trump has in the extremist movement.
"I think the President has given safe harbor to hate organizations and domestic terror organizations," she said. "We need leadership who steps up and takes it on."
Whitmer called for Trump and his fellow Republicans to do more.
"I have asked specifically from this White House to bring the heat down. I have asked Republican leaders in our state legislature to bring the heat down. I have asked for their help and none of them have done a darn thing," Whitmer told the Associated Press.
More than 500,000 people have already cast mail-in absentee ballots amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a polling site in south Charlotte, about 100 people were lined up October 15th, many who arrived before it opened its doors at 8 a.m.
The line was moving briskly and several said they were able to vote in an hour or less.
Mary Keith's gloved hands held onto her walker as she waited in line to vote.
The 95-year-old retired insurance agent wasn't going to let the coronavirus pandemic stop her from casting her ballot for Joe Biden.
"I think we need need to maintain, so to speak, our dignity. So, I'm looking forward to voting and I hope everybody feels the same way," Keith said.
Kenny Boyd was in line early to set an example for his three sons, who will be voting in this election for the first time.
"I don't think you can complain unless you use your civic right to actually vote and say something," Boyd said.
The in-person early voting option, which continues until October 31st, allows people to vote at any voting center in their county of residence.
People can also register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time during the early voting period.
"I'm happy that I came the first day. A lot of people were hesitant, thinking it would be longer but I think it's gone very well," Kathy Nettleton told the Associated Press.
More than 60% of the total ballots cast during the 2016 presidential election in North Carolina were cast through early in-person voting. That's nearly 3 million votes.
The percentage is likely to drop in 2020 as more 500,000 absentee ballots have been turned in so far - 10 times more than had been cast by mail at this point in the 2016 election.
Mail-in ballots seem to be preferred by those at higher-risk for severe illness from the coronavirus.
State and county election officials have been preparing for months for in-person voting, accumulating protective equipment for poll workers and voters.
Voters are encouraged but not required to wear masks.
In many locations, the "I Voted" stickers usually handed out will be replaced with single-use pens that voters can take home once they fill out their ballots.
Donald Trump, trailing in polls in most battleground states, continued his travel blitz in the race's final fortnight, and delivered what his campaign has wanted to be his closing message.
"It's time to send a message to these wealthy liberal hypocrites by delivering Joe Biden, sleepy Joe, a thundering defeat on November 3rd" Trump told the crowd.
Skirmishes broke out between supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump in New York City on October 25th.
Video from Manhattan showed Trump supporters and protesters screaming and cursing at each other and fighting, including a moment when anti-Trump protesters tried to pull a "Chinese American Alliance for Trump" banner away from a group of the president's supporters.
A Jews For Trump convoy of hundreds of cars draped with American flags and Trump 2020 banners rolled slowly through Manhattan and Brooklyn on October 25th. Videos shared on Twitter showed several protesters pelting the vehicles with eggs or stones, snatching flags and shouting insults.
New York City police said seven people were taken into custody in connection with physical confrontations in Times Square.
US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden received a little extra help on the campaign trail on October 31st from former US president Barack Obama.
The Democrats made a stop in Bloomfield Hills alongside as part of a two-event day to get out the vote in Michigan.
Earlier October 31st they had campaigned in Flint.
Biden was Obama's vice president from 2008 to 2016.
The trip marked their first day of the campaign in which they had appeared together.
Vote counting in the US election continued on November 4th.
The fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance as the battle for the White House between US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden continued.
The race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden was too early to call in battleground Michigan on November 4th, with many votes uncounted.
So were the state's most competitive Senate contest in 20 years and several closely watched House races.
Detroit, Michigan's largest city and a Democratic stronghold, was not expected to finish counting until November 4th evening as it processed a surge of absentee ballots.
Trump smashed the "blue wall" in his first White House bid, narrowly winning Michigan and two other states that had not backed a Republican nominee in decades.
The margin of victory in Michigan, about two-tenths of a percentage point, was the closest of any state in 2016.
Michigan was critical this time around, too, and turnout was high.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said at least 3.2 million absentee ballots were returned - a record - and she projected an additional 2 million to 2.5 million were cast in person.
The total would surpass the high of 5 million votes in the 2008 presidential election.
As the vote counting continued November 4th, people across the nation watched to see whether Georgia would finally become the swing state that Democrats have long hoped for.
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Georgia’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is too early to call.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he was pushing counties to complete vote tallies, with just under 100,000 ballots left to count as of th evening of November 4th.
There was a narrow margin between Trump and Biden in Georgia, a close race in a state that has not backed a Democrat for president since 1992. There is no automatic recount, but a candidate can request one if the margin is within 0.5%.
The outstanding vote was primarily in the Atlanta area, which tends to lean Democratic. On Wednesday, about 50 people were counting votes inside State Farm Arena, the home of the Atlanta Hawks NBA team. Counties have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 13th to certify results.
At stake in Georgia are 16 electoral votes. All absentee ballots were due November 3th.
Pennsylvania had hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count November 5th, but the state's elections chief signaled the number was expected to dwindle rapidly as Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump fought to the end for the White House.
Some of the state's most heavily populated locales, including Montgomery and Chester counties in the Philadelphia suburbs, reported finishing their tallies. The Trump campaign asked a federal judge to stop the count in Philadelphia itself, alleging city officials were depriving their observers of meaningful access. There was no immediate ruling.
"We have just filed a motion in federal court for immediate injunctive relief to shut down the voting process until we can get a resolution where we can look at these ballots," said Trump campaign legal adviser Pam Bondi.
"Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, you should care about this," Bondi said.
Despite a flurry of legal action by Trump and the Republican Party over aspects of the count, counties across Pennsylvania headed toward the finish line of a massive tabulating effort that included millions of mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania remained the largest electoral prize yet to be called.
The Trump campaign and the Republican Party argued in court that GOP election observers were too far away from the tabulation in Philadelphia, that some Democratic-leaning counties unfairly allowed people to fix technical problems with their mail-in ballots, and that mail-in ballots arriving after Tuesday should not be counted.
Trump scored one legal victory as intermediate state appeals court on November 5th granted more access to party and candidate observers, allowing them to get closer - 6 feet away - to election workers processing mail-in ballots in Philadelphia.
The Trump campaign later filed an emergency action in federal court, asserting the city had failed to comply with the state court order. The campaign asked a federal judge to halt the count "so long as Republican observers are not present as required by state law."
The city insisted it had moved barricades as ordered, even as it appealed the state court ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, citing concerns over worker safety amid the coronavirus pandemic and the potential for intimidation.
The Trump campaign said it wanted better access to the count to ensure that ballots contained a signature and an eligible voter's name and address. Ballots without that kind of information could be challenged or disqualified.
It was unclear whether any of the legal challenges would make a difference to an eventual outcome.
Bob Bauer, a Biden campaign adviser, said the Trump campaign lawsuits don't have any merit and are designed to spread misinformation, disrupt vote counting and confuse the public.
Election results showed Joe Biden with a slim lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada, but it was still too early to declare a winner in the race November 5th with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.
The top elections official in the most populous county said more results will be released Friday morning that include mail-in ballots.
Nevada's Attorney General, Aaron Ford, a Democrat, said threats of lawsuits from Republicans over alleged voting improprieties were expected and called them "a Hail Mary."
"It's another opportunity to undermine the confidence in this election. But I won't partake in that." Ford said.
No Republican presidential candidate has carried Nevada since 2004.
But the state has remained a battleground.
Trump fell just shy of winning Nevada and its six electoral college votes four years ago, and this year he campaigned hard in the state hoping for better luck.
A pro-Donald Trump rally was underway in Las Vegas on November 5th outside an election centre.
Supporters were waving Trump flags and chanting "Stop the fraud," and "Don't steal the vote!"
In addition to Las Vegas, groups of Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit and Philadelphia, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading or gaining ground.
It comes as President Trump continued to claim that Democrats were trying to commit "fraud".
The president did not back up his claim with any facts or details.
State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.
The presidential race has not yet been called because neither Trump nor Democratic nominee Joe Biden has yet collected the requisite 270 Electoral College votes.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump protested outside an election office in Phoenix on November 5th, urging authorities to stop the "illegal" vote as ballot counting continued in Arizona and other battleground states.
Election officials in several states said they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a stream of threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside their doors, drawn by Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the race for the White House.
On November 5th, about 100 Trump supporters gathered for the second night in a row in front of the Maricopa County election center in Phoenix, some carrying military-style rifles and handguns.
Authorities at the center used fences to create a “freedom of speech zone” and keep the entrance to the building open.
Groups of Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit and Philadelphia, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading or gaining ground.
Supporters of Joe Biden gathered to celebrate in his ancestral hometown of Ballina in Ireland on November 7th, ahead of his defeat of President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States.
Biden positioned himself to lead a nation gripped by the historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.
His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.
Biden clinched the White House with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born.
He also won Nevada on November 7th.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Joe Blewitt, who is a cousin of Biden, said Ballina would be "going wild" at the news of his victory.
Supporters of Joe Biden celebrated his victory after he defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States on November 7th, positioning himself to lead a nation gripped by historic pandemic and a confluence of economic and social turmoil.
Biden supporters celebrated on the streets of Philadelphia matching commemorations in other cities across the US.
In New York City, spontaneous block parties broke out on November 7th.
People ran out of their buildings, banging on pots.
They danced and high-fived with strangers amid honking horns.
In Washington, people streamed into Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, waving sings and taking cellphone pictures.
Biden won Pennsylvania on November 7th to exceed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
The former Vice President also carried Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Dozens of Trump supporters gathered in downtown Atlanta November 7th shortly after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election to protest the announcement.
Holding signs and chanting "Stop the Steal," the demonstrators pledged their support to President Donald Trump and railed against what they called a stolen election.
The baseless and erroneous claim has been fueled in the days since the election by the president himself who continues to state the election was rigged and is moving forward with a series of legal battles.
Similar protests are occurring in cities across the country, from Detroit to Philadelphia to Phoenix.
Thousands streamed into Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House on November 7th holding signs and cellphones after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency of the United States.
US President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani on November 7th said the Trump campaign would launch further legal challenges against the results of the US presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden.
Speaking as US television networks announced the news of Biden's victory, Giuliani mocked their call.
"All the networks thought Biden was going to win by 10%. Gee, what happened? Come on. Don't be, don't be ridiculous. Networks don't get to decide elections. Courts do," Giuliani said.
Biden's victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.
Trump has refused to concede and threatened further legal action on ballot counting.
He has pointed to delays in processing the vote in some states to allege with no evidence that there was fraud and to argue that his rival was trying to seize power - an extraordinary charge by a sitting president trying to sow doubt about a bedrock democratic process.
Supporters of President Donald Trump staged protests across the country November 7th, refusing to accept defeat and echoing the president's unsubstantiated allegations that the Democrats won the election by fraud.
Chanting "This isn't over! and "Stop the steal," the crowds ranging in size from a few dozen to a few thousand, some of them openly carrying guns, decried news of Joe Biden's victory after more than three suspense-filled days of vote-counting put the Democrat over the top.
Contrary to the claims of Trump supporters, there has been no evidence of any serious vote fraud.
Some Republican elected officials around the country began to distance themselves from Trump and urge him to accept the outcome gracefully.
About 50 protesters in Las Vegas braved a freezing wind and unexpected rain, bringing bullhorns and Trump flags to a "Stop the Steal" rally outside the Clark County registrar of voters office.
Trump supporters standing along the street and passing Biden supporters in cars yelled obscenities at each other, but otherwise it was largely peaceful.
Quoting the Bible, President-elect Joe Biden says it's a time to heal for America.
In a victory speech at a drive-in celebration in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden says Democrats and Republicans can choose to work together and promises to be a president for all.
Biden also paid tribute to his wife Jill, and welcomed Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to the Biden clan.
Biden and Harris brought their entire families on-stage with them to close out their victory party on November 7th.
After delivering speeches outside of the Chase Center in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, the two were joined by their families to watch as red white and blue fireworks exploded in the sky.
Biden's wife Jill, seven grandkids, his son Hunter and daughter Ashley all gathered around him, and he bounced one of his youngest grandchildren as the family enjoyed the display.
Harris, meanwhile, was joined by her sister Maya, her niece Meena and her husband, Doug Emhoff, as well as her two stepchildren.
Harris wrapped her arms around a younger grand-niece as they watched the celebration, with more than 1,000 supporters dancing and waving American flags and Biden campaign signs.
It was a celebratory ending to a day that was otherwise largely spent by the two Democrats waiting and watching as final returns rolled in.
President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are holding a meeting in Delaware with their coronavirus Task Force.
This comes as Biden hailed as a "breakthrough" Pfizer's announcement that its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.
Biden on November 9th congratulated those involved in giving the country "such cause for hope." But at the same time, noted that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.
He said even if a vaccine is approved by the end of this month and some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it'll be many more months before there's widespread vaccination across the country.
Biden cited a warning by the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that for the foreseeable future, a mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than a vaccine.
"Today's news doesn't change this urgent reality," Biden said, adding that Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, social tracing, hand washing and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year.
He said the U.S. is still losing over 1,000 people a day from COVID-19 and will continue to get worse unless progress is made on mask-wearing and other actions.
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen his longtime adviser Ron Klain to reprise his role as his chief of staff, installing an aide with decades of experience in the top role in his White House.
Klain will lead a White House likely to be consumed by the response to the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread unchecked across the nation, and he'll face the challenge of working with a divided Congress that could include a Republican-led Senate.
Klain served as the coordinator to the Ebola response during the 2014 outbreak.
In a statement Biden suggested he chose Klain for the position because his longtime experience in Washington had prepared him for such challenges.
“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again," Biden said.
Klain served as chief of staff for Biden during Barack Obama’s first term, was chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore in the mid-1990s and was a key adviser on the Biden campaign, guiding Biden’s debate preparations and coronavirus response.
He’s known and worked with Biden since the Democrat’s 1987 presidential campaign.
The choice of Klain underscores the effort the incoming Biden administration will place on the coronavirus response from day one.
Klain has experience in public health as the Ebola response coordinator and played a central role in drafting and implementing the Obama administration’s economic recovery plan in 2009.
“I’m honored by the President-elect’s confidence and will give my all to lead a talented and diverse team in a Biden-Harris WH,” Klain tweeted.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is denouncing President Donald Trump as the "most irresponsible president in American history" over his efforts to overturn the result of the election.
Biden was asked by a reporter November 19th about Trump extending a White House invitation to Michigan state lawmakers in an apparent bid to overturn the results of the election in the state, which Biden won.
Biden shook his head, noted that "there's questions whether it's even legal" and said the move was "outrageous."
Biden added: "It's hard to fathom how this man thinks."
Speaking broadly about Trump's refusal to concede the election, Biden said Americans are witnessing incredible irresponsibility and warned that "incredibly damaging messages are being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions."
US President-elect Joe Biden has chosen former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as treasury secretary, a pivotal role in which she would help shape and direct his economic policies at a perilous time, according to a person familiar with the transition plans.
Yellen, who is widely admired in the financial world, would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in a line stretching back to Alexander Hamilton in 1789.
Her nomination was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden's plans.
As treasury secretary, Yellen would face a shaky US economy, weakened by the pandemic recession and now in the grip of a surging viral epidemic that is intensifying pressure on businesses and individuals.
Concern is rising that the economy could slide into a “double-dip” recession this winter as states and cities reimpose restrictions on businesses and consumers stay at home to avoid contracting the disease.
A path-breaking figure in the male-dominated economics field, Yellen, 74, was also the first woman to serve as Fed chair, from 2014 to 2018.
She later became an adviser to Biden's presidential campaign in an unusual departure for a former Fed leader that thrust her into the political arena.
The treasury post would add another new chapter to Yellen's broad and varied career in financial policymaking.
As secretary, she would represent the administration in global financial affairs and lead a sprawling department whose responsibilities range from the government's finances and tax collections to global currency markets, bank regulation and the printing of money.
She would also be a key adviser to Biden and a public spokesperson for his economic agenda.
Yellen should enjoy the advantage of having already built long-standing ties to many of the Fed's policymakers, notably Jerome Powell, who worked closely with her on the Fed's board and later succeeded her as chair.
The health of the economy hinges in part on a close coordination between the Fed, an independent agency, and the Treasury, a presidential Cabinet department, especially during major crises like the pandemic recession that struck in early spring.
Soon after that crisis erupted, the government established a suite of lending programs that were designed to shore up businesses and municipalities and that involve a partnership between the Treasury Department and the Fed.
After leaving the Fed, Yellen became a distinguished fellow in residence at the liberal Brookings Institution in Washington.
She did not initially comment about Trump's decision not to offer her a second term.
But in a 2019 interview, Yellen said she didn't think Trump had a firm grasp of economic policy “or even knows the Federal Reserve's mandates” to stabilize prices and maximize employment.
Yellen is married to George Akerlof, a Nobel Prize-winning economist whom she met in a Fed cafeteria in 1977.
They have one son, Robert, who is an economics professor.
President Donald Trump's estranged niece, a clinical psychologist and author, says his baseless insistence that he won the presidential election is borne of his belief that he always deserves to win and "that it's OK to lie, cheat and steal" to do so.
Mary Trump, who wrote a book about the president and is penning another about America's history of trauma, said Trump has "nobody to blame but himself" for performing worse than other Republicans on the same ballots.
"He's spinning madly, he's desperate," she said, and if he "thinks he's going down, he's going to take the rest of us down with him."
The White House didn't immediately respond for comment on Mary Trump's remarks.
Mary Trump is the daughter of Trump's elder brother, Fred Jr., who died after a struggle with alcoholism in 1981 at 42.
President-elect Joe Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be Secretary of Defense, according to four people familiar with the decision.
If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first Black leader of the Pentagon.
Biden selected Austin over the longtime front-runner candidate, Michele Flournoy, a former senior Pentagon official and Biden supporter who would have been the first woman to serve as defense secretary.
Biden also had considered Jeh Johnson, a former Pentagon general counsel and former secretary of homeland defense.
The impending nomination of Austin was confirmed by four people with knowledge of the pick who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the selection hadn't been formally announced.
As a career military officer, the 67-year-old Austin is likely to face opposition from some in Congress and in the defense establishment who believe in drawing a clear line between civilian and military leadership of the Pentagon.
Although many previous defense secretaries have served briefly in the military, only two - George C. Marshall and James Mattis - have been career officers.
Marshall also served as secretary of state.
Like Mattis, Austin would need to obtain a congressional waiver to serve as defense secretary.
Congress intended civilian control of the military when it created the position of secretary of defense in 1947 and prohibited a recently retired military officer from holding the position.
One of the people who confirmed the pick said Austin's selection was about choosing the best possible person but acknowledged that pressure had built to name a candidate of colour and that Austin's stock had risen in recent days.
Austin is a 1975 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and served 41 years in uniform.
Biden has known Austin at least since the general's years leading US and coalition troops in Iraq while Biden was vice president.
Austin was commander in Baghdad of the Multinational Corps-Iraq in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president, and he returned to lead US troops from 2010 through 2011.
Austin also served in 2012 as the first Black vice chief of staff of the Army, the service's No. 2-ranking position.
A year later he assumed command of US Central Command, where he fashioned and began implementing a US military strategy for rolling back the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
Austin retired from the Army in 2016, and he would need a congressional waiver of the legal requirement that a former member of the military be out of uniform at least seven years before serving as secretary of defense.
That waiver has been granted only twice - most recently in the case of Mattis, the retired Marine general who served as President Donald Trump's first Pentagon chief.
Austin has a reputation for strong leadership, integrity and a sharp intellect.
He would not be a prototypical defense secretary, not just because of his 41-year military career but also because he has shied from the public eye.
It would be an understatement to say he was a quiet general; although he testified before Congress, he gave few interviews and preferred not to speak publicly about military operations.
He earned the admiration of the Obama administration for his work in Iraq and at Central Command, although he disagreed with Obama's decision to pull out of Iraq entirely in December 2011.
Austin was involved in the Iraq War from start to finish.
He served as an assistant commander of the 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and oversaw the withdrawal in 2011.
When Austin retired in 2016, Obama praised his “character and competence,” as well as his judgment and leadership.
Like many retired generals, Austin has served on corporate boards.
He is a member of the board of directors of Raytheon Technologies.
Word of Austin's selection broke a day before a meeting between Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and civil rights groups, many of whom had pushed the president-elect to pick more Black cabinet members.
Presidential electors in key battleground states cast the votes December 14th that will affirm Joe Biden as the nation's next president, a formality that took on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump's refusal to concede he lost his race for reelection.
Monday was the day set by law for the meeting of the Electoral College. Electors were casting paper ballots in gatherings that were taking place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with masks, social distancing and other virus precautions the order of the day.
Joe Biden cleared the 270-electoral-vote mark to formalize his presidential victory with the state of California's 55 votes.
The voting milestone came late Monday when California electors affirmed Biden's massive 5 million-vote win last month in the nation's largest state.
Julie Pace, the Washington Bureau Chief for the Associated Press, said the vote verification process happens every four years and does not typically garner much attention from the American public.
"That's, of course, different in this election, given the fact that Trump has not conceded and has been challenging the results," Pace said. "So this was actually a really important moment, a moment for Americans to see their democracy at work and to see how this constitutionally mandated process plays out."
December 14th was the day set by law for the meeting of the Electoral College. Electors were casting paper ballots in gatherings that were taking place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with masks, social distancing and other virus precautions the order of the day.
Following weeks of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by judges, Trump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court last week to set aside 62 electoral votes for Biden in four states, which might have thrown the outcome into doubt.
The justices rejected the lawsuit on Friday, December 11th.
In 32 states and the District of Columbia, laws require electors to vote for the popular-vote winner. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld this arrangement in July.
The results of the Electoral College will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.
"President Trump says he's going to try to fight for that vote to go in his direction, but there really is no democratic mechanism for that to happen. It would literally be lawmakers overturning the will of voters, the will of the Electoral College if they were to go in another direction here," Pace said. "Given the fact that Democrats hold the majority in the House of Representatives, it's basically impossible to see how this would happen. But certainly we will continue to report and focus on that process now."
Electors almost always vote for the state winner anyway because they generally are devoted to their political parties. There was no reason to expect any defections this year
When all the votes are in, Biden is expected to have 306 electoral votes to 232 for Trump. It takes 270 to be elected. In the popular vote count, Biden topped Trump by more than 7 million votes nationwide.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to pick former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg to head the Transportation Department.
That's according to three people familiar with the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday to avoid preempting the president-elect's announcement.
The 38-year-old Buttigieg was one of Biden’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
He was a breakout star of the primaries, sharing victory in the nation’s first caucus with Bernie Sanders. He suspended his campaign before Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden.
The Transportation Department helps oversee the nation’s highway system, planes, trains and mass transit and is poised to play a key role early in the incoming administration.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to tap former Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy to spearhead his ambitions for a massive, coordinated domestic campaign to slow climate change.
That’s according to a person familiar with the plans who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to avoid publicly preempting the president-elect’s announcement.
McCarthy’s selection is in line with Biden’s pattern of picking tested, familiar figures from his time as vice president, passing over potentially more exciting and younger figures from the progressive movement.
McCarthy’s counterpart in climate efforts will be former Secretary of State John Kerry, earlier named by Biden as his climate envoy for national security issues.
Campaigning in Georgia on December 21st, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stressed to Senate runoff voters a need for Democratic colleagues to advance the Biden administration's policy agenda.
Telling a crowd in Columbus that "everything is at stake" in the Jan. 5 elections, Harris said that she and President-elect Joe Biden need Democrats like Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in the Senate to advance policy priorities.
Harris said like increased funding for schools in low-income districts, a $15,000 tax credit to first-time home buyers and policing reforms including a ban on chokeholds and creation of a national standard for the use of force by police.
"We will need the legislation to be passed," Harris said. "We will need Jon and Raphael in the United States Senate. These are the things that are at stake."
Harris' other scheduled stop was canceled due to a scheduled Senate vote on a coronavirus relief package.
Just ahead of Harris' remarks, Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a senior White House advisor, stumped with U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler outside a pub in Milton, a wealthy suburb about 30 miles (48 km) north of Atlanta.
More than 1.3 million people have already cast mail-in ballots or voted early in-person in the upcoming contests, the outcome of which will determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate in the nascence of Biden's presidency.
Wins by both Democrats, Ossoff and Warnock, would yield a 50-50 divide, with Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
Monday's appearances continued a cavalcade of top-shelf surrogates wading into the races.
Biden himself has already stumped in the state, and Vice President Mike Pence has made several visits.
President Donald Trump said late Saturday he would return Jan. 4 for an election-even rally, just two days before Congress meets to count votes from the Electoral College.
Speaking ahead of Harris in Columbus, Ossoff warned that Republicans would block the Biden administration's agenda if they kept Senate control, stymying a progressive platform to raise the minimum wage, expand access to health care and invest in infrastructure.
"We have too much good work to do, Columbus, to be mired in grid lock and obstruction," he said.
Warnock pushed back at his opponent's repeated digs, which he said hindered his attempts at "a substantive debate about the people of Georgia."
"My opponent is trying to reduce this race to the kind of empty school yard insults made between children who aren't thinking very carefully on a playground," he said.
"I'm trying to have a debate, and she's engaged in name calling. That's all right. As we say in the South, 'Bless her heart.'"