After a lengthy and hard-wrought election season, the race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has officially been called. Following the Nov. 3 election, voters have elected Biden to become the 46th President of the United States, as the Associated Press and CBS News projected on Saturday morning. The projections came after analysts called Pennsylvania for the vice president, pushing him over the requisite 270 electoral vote threshold. This electoral process saw a record number of Americans casting votes even though it came during the coronavirus pandemic. The election came down to the wire, with many battleground states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, being won by Biden by incredibly close margins. While Biden is the projected winner of the election, Trump has already expressed that he and his campaign will challenge many of these outcomes by requesting a recount or challenging the court's decision.
On Jan. 20, 2021, Biden will become the next president after the 270 electoral college votes required to win. At the time of his inauguration in January, Biden will be 78 years old, making him the oldest individual to be elected to the presidency. Not only will the president-elect make history upon his inauguration, but his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, will also be making history as the first woman to be the Vice President of the United States and the first woman of color to hold the position.
JOE BIDEN DEFEATS PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
The Associated Press declares Joe Biden the winner of a grueling campaign for the American presidency. He will lead a polarized nation through a historic collision of health, economic and social crises. #APracecall pic.twitter.com/lInwqjX3PB— The Associated Press (@AP) November 7, 2020
Now that Biden has been elected to the presidency, he, naturally, has plenty of work to do when it comes to setting up his administration. According to the Associated Press, the president-elect will have to name more than 4,000 political appointees to his administration, including 1,200 that will need Senate confirmation, per the Partnership for Public Service. Chris Lu, the executive director of former President Barack Obama's transition in 2008, said that numerous vacancies would need to be filled in departments that will be crucial in addressing America's standing globally and the climate crisis.
"There's a lot of expertise that's just gone now — in particular, when you look at places like the State Department and the gutting of the Foreign Service or, you know, in climate agencies like EPA or Interior," Lu said. One of Biden's biggest priorities will be addressing the coronavirus pandemic.
According to individuals involved in transition planning (who spoke to AP on the condition of anonymity), Biden is said to be considering swift announcements for Cabinet picks that would be key in addressing the current health crisis. Those roles include the director of the National Economic Council and leaders for the treasury department (to spur on stimulus negotiations) and the health and human services department. The Associated Press noted that there are several individuals that Biden is considering for various appointments in his administration, including Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Karen Bass, and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.