Four days after a bitterly contested presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, America was still awaiting final results on Saturday, with the former Democratic Vice President on the verge of winning the White House.
Biden was leading in most of the key states left on the line, including Pennsylvania – where a victory would push the veteran Democrat past the magic number of 270 votes in the Electoral College, which decides for the presidency.
But Trump, whose re-election bid looked increasingly unlikely, showed no sign of concessions, posting a series of morning tweets denouncing what he called “illegally received” votes in Pennsylvania and other states ” thin as razors ”.
These tweets have been flagged and hidden by the messaging platform as containing potentially misleading content.
Biden, 77, called on Americans for unity on Friday night – he repeated his belief he would emerge victorious, but said the country had to wait for the process to unfold.
“We have to put anger – and demonization – behind us. It is time for us to come together as a nation and heal,” Biden said in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, accompanied by his running mate, the Senator. Kamala Harris.
“My responsibility as president will be to represent the entire nation.”
In his late-night speech, Biden adopted a decidedly presidential tone, vowing to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic as new cases in the United States – still the most affected country in the world – reach a new high of more than 127,000.
“The pandemic is becoming much more worrying across the country,” Biden said, noting that he and Harris had a briefing Friday on the crisis, which claimed the lives of more than 235,000 Americans.
“Our hearts are breaking with you. And I want everyone to know that on day one we are going to put our plan to fight this virus into action.”
U.S. media reported that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, 61, had contracted the virus – highlighting criticism leveled at the president for months over his administration’s handling of the crisis.
Meadows tested positive for the first time on Wednesday, a day after the election, according to the New York Times.
Biden, however, stopped before officially declaring victory, as races in Pennsylvania, Georgia and other battlefield states remained undecided.
But Biden’s lead has grown steadily in Pennsylvania and rose to more than 28,000 on Saturday morning, according to state election data.
Biden also led in Arizona and Georgia – two states that did not vote Democrats in the 21st century – as well as Nevada, while Trump held a slim lead in North Carolina and had to win Alaska.
Georgia has said it is ordering a recount because of the narrow margin. The southern state will also host runoff races in January for its two Senate seats, which will likely determine whether Democrats wrest control of the upper house from Republicans and give Biden a wider path to legislative victories.
Trump has prematurely named himself the winner on several occasions, refusing to accept data showing Biden was ready for victory.
Trump’s campaign has filed nationwide fraud lawsuits, but made little headway with no evidence produced to support alleged ballot tampering or other significant incidents.
“Mr. Trump hates losing, and there is no doubt that he will fight to the end,” The Wall Street Journal said in an op-ed.
“But if defeat does strike, he will make the best use of himself and his country by honoring American democratic traditions and leaving office with dignity.”
Seek legal action
Pennsylvania Republicans have made a final call for emergency intervention by the United States Supreme Court to stop the vote count in the state, as numerous late ballots have tipped the race in favor of Biden.
Judge Samuel Alito, seen as a conservative, refused to order an immediate shutdown – he ordered Pennsylvania to separate late ballots, asserting a policy already in place by state election officials.
He said any further response from the full court would come no later than Saturday.
Trump has now repeatedly erroneously said that the ballots were either invented for Biden or were stolen from him.
But unprecedented attacks on US electoral integrity by a president ignore a simple fact about the different types of ballots.
Votes cast in person on election day and counted first largely favored Trump, who questioned the ballots in the mail and urged his supporters to vote in person.
The subsequent tally turned to the avalanche of votes mailed in by Americans unwilling to go to crowded polling stations amid the coronavirus pandemic – disproportionately voters in Biden.
Anger of Trump supporters
As Trump launched his offensive, his supporters expressed their anger at election offices in several cities.
Philadelphia, PA, USA, USA, United States of America.
In Atlanta, an election worker went into hiding after receiving death threats with his car’s license plate number exposed on the internet, after being falsely accused of throwing a ballot.
The worker was seen on video throwing away a piece of paper, which was actually an instruction sheet returned by a voter, said Richard Barron, the Fulton County election supervisor.
Most of Trump’s Republican Party stood squarely behind him.
“Far from over,” tweeted Rep. Kevin McCarthy, leader of the Republican minority in the House of Representatives. “Republicans will not back down in this battle.”
But several Republicans have expressed concern over a president’s unprecedented attacks on the US electoral process.
“It is wrong to say that the elections were rigged, corrupted and stolen – it harms the cause of freedom here and in the world … and recklessly ignites destructive and dangerous passions,” said Mitt Romney, the only one Republican senator to vote to convict the president during his impeachment trial earlier this year.
(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)