Washington/Moscow: President Joe Biden has said that he believes Vladimir Putin is a killer with no soul — and vowed that the Russian leader soon “will pay a price” for interfering in the 2020 U.S. election and trying to boost the re-election chances of Donald Trump.
In an interview that aired Wednesday on Good Morning America, Biden said he warned Putin last month, in his first call to the Russian president after taking office, that he would retaliate if that meddling was confirmed.
When Biden was asked if he believes Putin is a killer, the president replied, “I do.”
Biden also confirmed prior reports that he personally told Putin in 2011, while serving as U.S. vice president, that Putin does not “have a soul.”
Biden’s strong words about his Russian counterpart stand in sharp contrast to Trump, who for years in office refused to criticize Putin for interfering in the 2016 election, or to even concede that it happened, as repeated investigations have found.
President Putin retorted on Thursday that it takes one to know one after Biden’s killer remark. Moscow has also recalled its US ambassador for consultations a day after the Biden interview.
Russia is preparing to be hit by a new round of U.S. sanctions in the coming days over that alleged meddling as well as over an alleged hack.
Suggesting Biden was hypocritical in his remarks, Putin said that every state had to contend with “bloody events” and added Biden was accusing the Russian leader of something he was guilty of himself.
Shortly before Putin’s remarks, his spokesman said Biden’s comments showed he had no interest in fixing ties with Moscow, which are strained by everything from Syria to Ukraine to Russia’s jailing of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
Biden was quick to extend a key nuclear arms pact with Russia after he took office in January. But his administration has said it will take a tougher line with Moscow than Washington did during Donald Trump’s term in office, and engage only when there is a tangible benefit for the United States.
New Delhi: World leaders said they were looking forward to working with Joe Biden, the Democrat sworn in as the 46th US president on January 20.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his desire to work with the new American administration to deepen bilateral ties. “I congratulate President @JoeBiden on his inauguration. Look forward to working with @POTUS in building a stronger Pak-US partnership through trade and economic engagement, countering climate change, improving public health, combating corruption and promoting peace in the region and beyond,” Khan tweeted.
Hours before the inauguration, Beijing expressed hope that Biden would “look at China rationally and objectively” to repair “serious damage” in bilateral ties caused by the Trump presidency.
“The Biden administration should look at China rationally and objectively, meet China halfway and, in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, push China-US relations back to the right track of healthy and stable development as soon as possible,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing.
“I extend warm congratulations to @JoeBiden on his assumption of office as the 46th President of the USA. I wish him a successful tenure of office. I look forward to working closely with him in further strengthening traditionally warm and friendly ties between our two countries,” Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli tweeted.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih tweeted: “Congratulations to Pres. @JoeBiden and VP @KamalaHarris on their inauguration respectively as the 46th President and 49th Vice Pres. of the US. Maldives and US are friends and partners and we look forward to working with you to grow our friendship and further our shared values”.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, tweeted congratulations to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, adding: “It’s time to bring back conviction & common sense and rejuvenate our EU-US relationship.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Europe is ready for a fresh start.”
President Hassan Rouhani hailed the departure of “tyrant” Trump, Tehran having repeatedly called on Washington to lift sanctions imposed over its nuclear drive.
“We expect (the Biden administration) to return to law and to commitments, and try in the next four years, if they can, to remove the stains of the past four years,” said Rouhani.
Biden’s administration wants the United States back in the landmark Iran nuclear accord, from which Trump withdrew, provided Tehran returns to strict compliance.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Biden to strengthen the long-standing alliance between the two countries.
“I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the US-Israel alliance, to continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran,” Netanyahu said in a video.
“The bond between North America and Europe is the bedrock of our security, and a strong NATO is good for both North America and Europe,” said NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
“NATO Allies need to stand together to address the security consequences of the rise of China, the threat of terrorism, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a more assertive Russia.”
Pope Francis urged Biden to promote “reconciliation and peace” around the world.
“At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for far-sighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom,” the pope said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would seek “good relations with the United States”, while a foreign ministry statement said they expected a “more constructive” approach to upcoming arms control talks.
The US and Russia are to discuss extending the landmark 2010 New START nuclear weapons accord shortly after Biden’s swearing in.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was looking forward to a “new chapter of German-American friendship and cooperation”.
“Warmest congratulations on your inauguration, @POTUS Joe Biden and @VP Kamala Harris — a true celebration of American democracy,” Merkel was quoted as saying in a tweet posted by her spokesman Steffen Seibert.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “Best wishes on this most significant day for the American people!
“We are together. We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!,” Macron wrote in English.
He was referring to the 2015 international accord committing all nations to cut carbon emissions to limit global warming, but which the United States under Trump formally quit in November last year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has faced criticism over his close relationship with Trump, said he was looking forward to “working closely” with Biden.
“In our fight against Covid and across climate change, defence, security and in promoting and defending democracy, our goals are the same and our nations will work hand in hand to achieve them,” he said.
Queen Elizabeth II sent a private message to Biden before he was sworn in, Buckingham Palace said, without revealing the contents of the message.
Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez said that Biden represented “victory of democracy over the ultra-right.” Then he took aim directly at the former president.
“Five years ago, we thought Trump was a bad joke, but five years later we realized he jeopardized
nothing less than the world’s most powerful democracy,” he said in a speech.
“Today a true friend of Ireland @JoeBiden became the 46th President of the USA,” Prime Minister Micheal Martin wrote on Twitter.
“It is a day of history and hope and I look forward to forging ever closer ties between our two great nations.”
“Our two countries are more than neighbors — we are close friends, partners, and allies,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, pledging Canada’s cooperation in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, for climate action and for a sustainable economic recovery.
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga tweeted his congratulations, adding “I look forward to working with you and your team to reinforce our alliance and to realize a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in hailed Biden’s inauguration, saying: “America is back. America’s new beginning will make democracy even greater. Together with the Korean people, I stand by your journey toward ‘America United’.”
The leaders of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all sent messages of congratulations.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said he was “impatient” to work together with Biden “for peace and stability in the region and in the world”.
Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu changed his cover photo on Twitter, replacing a picture with outgoing US President Donald Trump with the one in which he is being vaccinated against Covid-19.
A joint photo of the two leaders, with Netanyahu sitting next to Trump at a White House meeting, has long been on the prime minister’s official Twitter account @netanyahu. The photo was seen as a sign of friendship and close ties between Israel and the Trump-led US administration.
The removal came after the relations between the two leaders deteriorated after Netanyahu officially congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on the latter’s victory in the November presidential election.
The new picture on Netanyahu’s Twitter profile says “Citizens of Israel, we are returning to life.” No comment on the cover photo’s replacement was given on his account.
Meanwhile, Trump has been blocked on all major social platforms following the January 6 unrest in the US Capitol, when a group of his supporters stormed the building, clashing with police, damaging property, seizing the inauguration stage and occupying the rotunda.
New York: Joe Biden, who will take over as United States President in January, has told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that alongside Kamala Harris he wants to strengthen and expand relations between their countries.
Working closely on the Covid-19 pandemic figured in their phone call, Biden’s transition organisation’s readout of the conversation said.
“The President-elect thanked the Prime Minister for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership alongside the first Vice President of South Asian descent” Kamala Harris, according to the readout.
“The President-elect noted that he looks forward to working closely with the Prime Minister on shared global challenges, including containing Covid-19 and defending against future health crises, tackling the threat of climate change, launching the global economic recovery, strengthening democracy at home and abroad, and maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” it added.
Absent from the readout is any mention of cooperation in counter-terrorism.
The readout mentions maintaining a secure Indo-Pacific, which was the centrepiece of President Donald Trump’s administration’s strategic involvement with India.
Biden, who started speaking to international leaders starting on November 10, finally got around to speaking with Modi.
Also on Tuesday, Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israeli, one of the closest allies of the US. Netanyahu has been considered close to President Donald Trump like Modi.
Modi was among the first leaders to recognise Biden as the winner of the presidential election that is still being questioned by Trump and votes are being counted.
He and Indian President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted their congratulations to Biden shortly after the US media declared him the winner based on their projections of the results.
Modi recalled in his congratulatory tweet that Biden’s contribution as the vice president “to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable.”
He added, “I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights.”
Biden has met Modi during his visit to Washington in 2014 and co-hosted along with then-Secretary of State John Kerry a luncheon in his honor.
Kabul: The Taliban has assured the new US administration, which will come to power in January 2021, of remaining committed to the implementation of the Doha peace agreement, saying it was an “excellent document” to end the decades-long war in Afghanistan.
In the statement, the group said the implementation of the US-Taliban agreement “is the most reasonable and effective tool for ending the conflict with the US”, referring to their fight against American forces, TOLO News reported.
“We remain committed to the agreement on our part and view it as a powerful basis for solving the Afghan issue and we also give preference to solving our internal problems through dialogue and negotiations,” it added.
In a historic move, the Taliban signed the peace deal with the US on February 29, under which the militant group will not attack American forces inside Afghanistan.
The agreement also requires the withdrawal of American troops within 14 months since the intimation of the peace process.
The peace negotiations were inaugurated in Doha on September 12 with the hope to end the four decades of war in the country.
Negotiating teams representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban held more than 10 meetings. But direct negotiations were yet to begin.
The statement came after the Taliban said that Biden should respect the Doha Agreement because it was not made with a single person but with the American government, the media reported.
A spokesman for the Taliban told the media that when the new US administration comes in power, it will need to acclaim the agreement, reports Khaama Press.
Taliban hopes that the Biden administration will abide by the Doha Peace protocols, the spokesman said.
The White House will have a new occupant shortly. What does this mean for India? The Modi government’s connection with President elect Joe Biden goes back to the days when External Affairs S. Jaishankar was Indian Ambassador to US during the Obama administration and present Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu was his deputy. The two have kept in touch with close advisors of President elect Biden ensuring that US maintains its bipartisan consensus towards India.
As far as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is concerned, he runs foreign policy on a personal touch with Indian interests as a top priority. He only gives up on a country or an institution after the latter shows duplicity in bilateral relations.
No marks for guessing the countries in that category.
While the Indian foreign policy will indeed have to recalibrate its approach towards the incoming Biden administration, New Delhi knows that president-elect is a collegial guy, who was more approachable to Republican adversaries as a vice president than the president during the Obama years. A quintessential politician who stayed more than half his life in Washington and knows the wrangling at Capitol Hill.
Unlike President Trump who hid his strategy behind a brash style, the incoming President will be more predictable in dealing with the world. He is expected to be tough yet not confrontational with China, will mend fences with Europe and be slightly rough with Russia.
Even though the Chinese experts are gloating over President Trump’s defeat, the US system now firmly believes that Beijing is not only an adversary but also a threat to the future. So one should not expect bombastic statements against the Communist Party of China during Biden-era but US policy on China has turned full circle and there should be a build-up on the Asia pivot that was promised but not delivered in the Obama administration. Trump, on his part, may be down but not out and will campaign for the Senate run-offs in Georgia to remain politically relevant in Republican party.
China’s all weather ally Pakistan also heaving a sigh of relief at the exit of President Trump but New Delhi believes that incoming administration will be tough on terrorism, particularly after the recent Islamist attacks in Europe by migrants.
The president-elect will continue with past policy of exiting Afghanistan but that won’t be easy as the US intelligence agencies and Pentagon (Trump dismissed their advice) have been reporting the escalation of Taliban violence with the backing of Haqqani network and Quetta based Shura with direct involvement of Pakistan deep state.
As president-elect is expected to work with expert advice on Afghanistan, then the role of British, who are tied up with Pakistan, may diminish in the near future. Islamabad’s double play in Afghanistan is now known to its former friends like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia with proof. Pakistan’s problem in fact may multiply with president-elect Biden having a very poor opinion about Islamabad’s newfound ally Turkey.
While New Delhi will wait till January 2021 for formal engagement with the new administration, it appears most confident in dealing with the new occupant of the White House.
Mumbai: The uncertainty regarding the US election outcome impacted the Indian rupee which plunged to a two month low mark during Wednesday’s trade session.
The rupee hit an intra-day low of 74.88 as there were indications that the US presidential results might be contested in courts.
“Markets would not like a delayed result, which can lead to prevalence of more risk-off sentiment,” Sajal Gupta, Head, Forex and Rates, Edelweiss Securities.
“No matter who wins. Stimulus shall be coming. So expect the US dollar to weaken in two weeks’ time after a clear win.”
At the end of the day’s trade, the rupee stood at 74.7462 from its previous close of 74.4063 to a greenback.
“A lack of clarity on the outcome of the US Presidential Election has created a lot of uncertainties,” said Nish Bhatt, Founder and CEO, Millwood Kane International.
“Global equity and currency markets have reacted according to it. With the US Dollar gaining strength, the Indian rupee saw a decline, as it slipped towards the crucial 75 per US dollar mark.”
Rahul Gupta, Head of Research, Currency, at Emkay Global Financial Services, said: “The USDINR spot is respecting the immediate resistance of 75, but the caution and volatility will keep the appreciation intact.”
“For the coming sessions, we expect USD-INR spot to trade in between 74-75.50.”
The India-United States (US) relationship has, despite the efforts of naysayers, developed on a positive trajectory over the past two decades. Today, the US is among India’s most important security partners (alongside Russia and France), and arguably the most comprehensive, with collaboration extending to intelligence, homeland security, defense technology, and maritime, space, and cyber cooperation.
Although Europe and Japan remain important countries for Indian trade and incoming investment, the US is also perhaps India’s most comprehensive economic partner, if research and development (R&D), education, technology, employment, energy, and health care are taken into consideration.
For the US, the India partnership has progressed at a time when almost every other major relationship — with both adversaries and allies — has experienced immense tumult. Despite some continuing areas of difference, India is the rare country over which Republicans and Democrats compete to project themselves as the better party to partner.
Nevertheless, whatever the outcome of next month’s US elections, relations between India and the US are set to enter a new, more constructive, but paradoxically more difficult phase.
For example, the basic building blocks of an India-US defense partnership have now been put in place. Whether on logistics or secure communications, the basic agreements required for military cooperation have been — or are about to be — signed. A political level 2+2 dialogue has been institutionalized to oversee the host of working level bilateral and multilateral consultations, covering everything from space and cyber cooperation to defense technology and maritime security.
Defense sales have become routine, with the Indian armed forces employing a growing number of American platforms. Technology barriers, which had once been the major obstacle to closer ties, have largely been overcome. All three military services conduct regular bilateral exercises, and a tri-service exercise has been initiated.
The next steps towards a more robust defense partnership, however, present far more difficult challenges. Further defense co-production and R&D will require significant changes to India’s defense industrial ecosystem, including predictability concerning Indian procurement and considerations of export markets, as India integrates into international supply chains. Greater interoperability will entail a distribution of labour and planning for specific scenarios, which, in turn, will require a degree of trust from both countries.
Similar challenges are discernible in the cyber domain and on emerging technology more generally. Again, the broad tenets of India-US cooperation are now more or less in place, with a degree of information-sharing between emergency response teams that would have been unheard of a decade ago. A shared understanding of the promise of various emerging technologies, and concern about China’s potential global role, have led to India-US cooperation in new multilateral entities.
The challenges may be even greater in implementing India-US cooperation on development assistance and infrastructure in third countries. Both have articulated similar concerns about China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and both India and the US bring certain strengths to the table when it comes to development assistance. India’s State-backed foreign assistance, loans, and investment are no longer negligible, especially in South Asia and Africa.
Meanwhile, the US — which was already a major foreign grant assistance provider through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) — has increased its capacity for overseas lending through the BUILD Act and is formulating standards via the Blue Dot Network.
But despite top-down agreement, India-US joint coordination — let alone collaboration — may prove more complicated.
Despite talk of a “trade war” and tariffs under President Donald Trump, goods trade between India and the US grew from about $60 billion in 2013 to over $90 billion in 2019. Prior to the pandemic, the number of Indian students in the US increased, as did two-way investment.
But further economic relations will likely be based less on goods trade, and more on other aspects of economic cooperation. These might include higher education, health care, innovation, and green energy collaboration, areas where the impact may be less quantifiable but no less important. But these forms of collaboration will, in turn, require major steps to ensure regulatory and policy predictability.
The next stage in India-US relations, while rewarding, may not be without its regular frustrations.
(Dhruva Jaishankar is director of the US Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation. The opinion piece appeared in The Hindustan Times)
The US presidential election is decided by the voters of “battleground” or “swing states”, which take the winner to the magic number of 270 in the Electoral College.
The eight states which will decide the 2020 Presidential election include four northern states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota), three southern states (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina) and Arizona. Collectively, these eight states have 127 electoral votes. Some of these diverse states depend on agriculture, others on manufacturing or tourism. They’ve been impacted by Covid-19 in different ways.
Within each of these swing states, I believe, the roadmap ahead for Vice President Joe Biden and Trump is clear. The president must max out his performance with rural voters while Biden needs a robust turnout in the big cities.
Vice President Biden’s easiest path to the presidency runs through the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, as well as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. This gets him to 278 electoral votes. Were Biden to win every state carried by Hillary Clinton along with the seven battleground states in which he’s currently leading, he would secure 347 electoral votes in a landslide victory.
The interesting point this election is that the Indian American votes may turn out to be the margin of victory in battleground states.
In 2016 Trump had a narrow win in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This 2020 cycle the Indo Americans / South Asians are doing extensive outreach to voters in 14+ languages through thousands of phone banking calls each week and are determined to turn out the 1.3 million Indo American votes for VP Biden. Per a recent survey, 80% of Indo Americans in battleground states are going to vote for VP Biden. There are 125,000 Indian American voters in Michigan, 156,000 in Pennsylvania and 37,000 in Wisconsin. Indian American votes will also make a huge difference in states such as Florida (eligible voter base of 193,000), Georgia (150,000), North Carolina (111,000), Texas (475,000), and Arizona (66,000).
Several Indo American organizations are reaching out to the voters through regular phone banking, text banking. We have launched digital social media advertisements through graphics in 14 languages, Bollywood based Get out the Vote videos. The community is engaged and we will see a bigger turnout for Biden-Harris and elect them as our next President and Vice President. Biden will lead us out of 4 long years of darkness into the path of Growth, Love, Equality, and Light!!
The fact remains that except for making some shrill but general statements, Trump has not really done anything substantive to grow a relationship with India, neither on the trade front nor on immigration. He has made it tougher to get green cards or H1 visas. Trump has revoked India’s Special Trade Partner Status and levied tariffs on Indian imports. He has cut visitor Visa/Student visa and H1 visa to Indian immigrants. In the first debate, Trump clubbed India with China and Russia, saying India’s Covid numbers cannot be trusted, thereby directly questioning Modi government’s integrity on a world stage and hurting India’s Reputation. India has managed COVID much better than Trump’s mess of a management.
Trump has continued to blame India’s greed for the TS withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and falsely Claimed that PM Modi asked him to intervene in Kashmir. He even lied and falsely claimed that PM Modi asked Trump to mediate the dispute with China. Trump has no trade deals signed with India so far – both times the two leaders met extensively, nothing came of it. The relationship they have is merely confined to photo-ops.
Joe Biden is the best friend India can have to further Indo-US relationship. As Vice President, he laid the foundation of furthering strong ties with India. He has clear policies and direction, which will help effectively resolve issues faced by Indian American community and grow Indo-US bilateral relationships at all levels: People to People, Business/Industry to Business/Industry.
Above all, the Biden White House will support a permanent seat for India at the United Nations Security Council.
On trade, five years ago, Biden set the goal of $500 billion in two-way trade. And he and President Obama talked about this as being the defining partnership of the 21st century.
Biden Administration will have no tolerance for terrorism in South Asia.
The Biden administration will handle China’s relationships effectively. Joe Biden would sanction China for its plan to impose new national security rules on Hong Kong. His campaign on Wednesday accused President Trump of having “enabled” Beijing’s curbs on freedoms in the former British colony. A Biden administration would “fully enforce” the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, “including sanctions on officials, financial institutions, companies and individuals,”
In India and China’s Quest for Strategic Dominance in the Indo Pacific Region, the Biden administration will be strategic to bring US-India closer.
Hate crimes against the South Asian communities have skyrocketed during the Trump administration. You won’t hear our President saying anything against racial hatred. From grocery stores to workplaces to simply being in their community, many AAPIs, including Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim Americans, have continually faced discrimination and hate, which is further exacerbated by Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and fanning the flames of hate. The Obama-Biden Administration added “Anti-Sikh” and “Anti-Hindu” to the Department of Justice’s hate crime reporting categories. The administration also provided resources and worked with local leaders to combat bullying directed at the AAPI community. Joe will make clear that hate has no safe harbor in this country. And, his Justice Department will prioritize prosecuting hate crimes.
On visas, Biden will support family-based immigration and preserve family unification as a core principle of our immigration system, which includes reducing the family visa backlog. Biden committed that during his first 100 days, the focus will be on streamlining the naturalization process, to make it easier for qualified green card holders to move through the backlog. This will be a huge win for thousands of H1B workers who live in a limbo.
Biden will increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration based on macroeconomic conditions and exempt from any cap the recent graduates of Ph.D. programs in STEM fields. And, he will support first reforming the temporary visa system for high-skill, specialty workers to protect wages, then expanding the number of visas offered and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country.
Biden will remove the uncertainty for Dreamers by reinstating the DACA program and explore all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation. As president, Joe will end workplace raids and Protect other sensitive locations from immigration enforcement actions. No one should be afraid to seek medical attention, or go to school, their job, or their place of worship for fear of an immigration enforcement action.
Clearly, most Indian Americans would say without hesitation that Biden would be a better President and world leader and better for India on all counts. Biden’s win, as seems likely, New Delhi would find a natural partner who will walk the talk.
In the first debate we saw two vastly different types of leadership. While Joe Biden outlined a vision for a unified, big-hearted America, Trump doubled down on the same blind partisanship and divisive rhetoric he’s been pushing since he was on the campaign trail four years ago.
So much of who we are as Americans is at stake in this election. And while our choice could not be clearer, the road to get there will be tough.
The closer we get to November 3, the more Donald Trump and his allies are showing they will push our democratic institutions to their limits in their relentless pursuit of retaining power. Right now is the time to focus on doing everything we can to elect Joe, Kamala, and Democratic candidates running in key races around the country who will pull us back from the brink.
Biden is not running just as anti-Trump candidate, he has shared his vision to rebuild the middle class and economy, restore American leadership in the world, deal with systematic racism, economic inequity, support for small businesses, immigration reform and plan for rural America. He wants to Restore the Soul of our Nation. It is time to work hard to elect Biden as the next President of the United States and Kamala Harris as the next Vice President.