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Joe Biden. Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Joe Biden said late Friday that while "we don't have a final declaration of victory yet," vote counts across the U.S. "tell us a clear and convincing story: We're going to win this race."

Why it matters: Biden is closing in on the 270 electoral votes needed to defeat President Trump, according to AP projections, with the critical battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin now called for the former vice president.

  • Biden is currently in the lead in the key states of Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada as vote counting continued.

What he's saying: "Look at the national numbers. We're going to win this race with a clear majority of the nation behind us," Biden said. "We've gotten over 74 million votes ... That's more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the United States of America," Biden said, with Sen. Kamala Harris by his side.

  • "Vote tallies on TV moves very slow. As slow as it goes it can be numbing, but never forget the tallies aren't just numbers. They represent votes and voters, men and women who exercised their fundamental right to have their voice heard."
  • "What's becoming clearer each hour is that a record number of Americans of all races, faiths, religions chose change over more of the same. They've given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism."
  • "They made it clear. They want the country to come together, not continue to it pull apart. The people spoke."
  • "While we're waiting for the final results, I want people to know that we're not waiting to get the work done."
  • Biden said he knows "tensions are high. They can be high after a tough election. One like we've had, but we need to remember to remain calm and let the process work out."
  • "Democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don't care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen."

Go deeper: Biden's nearly insurmountable math

Go deeper

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that confronting Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the threat posed by China. But as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Dave Lawler, author of World
41 mins ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.