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Biden gives his victory speech in Wilmington, Del. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden said "this is the time to heal in America" and called on the nation to come together to get the coronavirus under control, address systemic racism, confront climate change and "restore decency."

Driving the news: Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addressed the nation Saturday night at a drive-in style rally in Wilmington, Del., hours after news networks projected Biden as the winner of the U.S. presidential election.

  • The milestone comes exactly 48 years after Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • He served 36 years as senator from Delaware before his two terms as Barack Obama's vice president.
  • Biden, who turns 78 on Nov. 20, will be the oldest president to be sworn in.

Details: Biden, in a black face mask, jogged to the outdoor podium at the Chase Center at 8:39 pm Eastern, bumping fists with Harris before speaking. He warned Harris and her husband, "You’ve become an honorary Biden; there’s no way out."

  • Biden thanked Black Americans for making his victory possible and pledged: "You've always had my back — and I'll have yours."
  • He thanked poll workers and election officials for their work amid the pandemic.
  • He addressed President Trump's supporters directly, saying he understood their disappointment and imploring, "Let's give each other a chance."

Biden said Americans have given him a mandate with an expectation he will renew cooperation across partisan lines, "defeat despair" and restore "the soul of America."

  • "I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but to unify, who doesn’t see red states or blue states but the United States."
  • He said it is time for America's "better angels" to prevail over its "darkest impulses."

Behind the scenes: The outdoor rally at the Chase Center was one of the largest crowds they have addressed in a campaign shaped by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Attendees wore face masks and waved American flags.
  • Admission was capped to those who could fit into about 360 automobiles permitted onto the site — though the crowd size appeared to number well over 1000.

What they're saying: “In my mind, it’s a crystallization of the fact that over four years of tumult we are saying this is not who we are —  and this is who we want to be,” said Javon Lee, a 23-year-old Black man from Wilmington.

  • “Things have gotten a lot more dodgy in current times under Trump, but this is the way we’re showing we’re going to move forward. That Biden is right to unite America and help us as African Americans to progress further than we have before.”

The other side: President Trump has not conceded the race. On Twitter Saturday, he claimed falsely, "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT," alleged elections violations without evidence and vowed to fight in court.

Go deeper

Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer: Transition should start "tomorrow morning"

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said on "Meet the Press" on Sunday that it is past time to "cooperate with the transition" to President-elect Joe Biden, adding that he believes President Trump still has the right to continue fighting in court over election results.

Driving the news: Trump has refused to allow the transition process to begin as he has sought to discredit the election results in swing states across the country — baselessly alleging mass voter fraud.

Longtime diplomat says Trump conspiracies hurt U.S. more than Russia, China

Burns during Senate testimony in 2015. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A longtime diplomat and Joe Biden adviser tells Axios that the United States has lost international credibility as President Trump spreads conspiracies while challenging his losing election results.

Why it matters: Nicholas Burns, a Harvard professor who previously served presidents from both political parties as a former ambassador and undersecretary of state, says the president's baseless challenges have undercut the U.S. as a beacon of democracy and critical voice against governmental overreach in other nations.

Murkowski: "It is time to begin the full and formal transition process"

Murkowski leaves the Senate Republicans lunch in September. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) tweeted Sunday, "It is time to begin the full and formal transition process." She called Trump's attempts to overturn President-elect Biden's win "inconsistent with our democratic process."

Why it matters: Only a handful of congressional Republicans have acknowledged Biden as president-elect as Trump and his campaign continue unsuccessful legal challenges in key swing states.