With Joe Biden decisively declared the winner of the state-by-state Electoral College vote that formally determines the US presidency, it is now time — as the President-elect said in his speech Monday night — to unite, heal and turn the page on one of the most divisive and competitive election campaigns in US history.
While the meeting of the US electoral college is usually an obscure formality along the way to a US presidential inauguration in January, this time it assumed an outsize significance and renewed attention because of President Donald Trump’s consistent claims of widespread voter fraud and electoral irregularities. Those failed claims have now formally been put to rest.
California delivered its 55 electoral votes to Biden on Monday, officially putting the former vice-president over the threshold of 270 votes needed to secure the White House. Eventually, Biden’s score stood at the 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232, with electors in key battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin also voting for Biden. On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recognised Joe Biden as the winner of the US election.
It is imperative for the outgoing US administration to ensure a smooth and cooperative transfer of power at such a critical moment in global history
With elections being held against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the world, winning the US election and its certification by the Electoral College would certainly be the easy — although dramatic and nail-biting — part for Biden. The bitter electoral battle behind them, it’s now time for the incoming US administration to focus on life beyond January 20 — when Biden is set to take office alongside Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of abating in the US or most places around the world — a new strain in the UK has added to global concerns. From jobs lost to companies shuttered to industries pulverised, the global economy is still reeling from the economic devastation wrought by the virus.
Issues of urgent priority
From tackling climate change to calming global markets to resuming financial support for global agencies such as the World Health Organisation to continuity and stability in global geopolitics, the world is waiting for the US presidency to handle a whole host of issues with urgent priority.
And as the election results showed, the US remains a nation deeply divided along cultural, political and racial lines, with Trump’s appeal continuing to resonate with more than 70 million voters. It is therefore imperative for the outgoing US administration to ensure a smooth and cooperative transfer of power at such a critical moment in global history.
As more Americans get to take the Covid-19 vaccine and it rolls out around the world with record speed, it raises fresh hopes that humanity’s battle against the pandemic is turning a corner. With its mandate secure, the Biden administration must make winning this battle in conjunction with its global allies a priority in the days and weeks ahead.