The US Congress on Thursday officially certified President-elect Joe Biden as the next US President, hours after thousands of pro-Trump supporters stormed and occupied the Capitol in a bid to disrupt the electoral counting. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has been certified as the next US Vice-president.
Presiding the joint session of House and Senate, Republican Vice-President Mike Pence certified the Electoral College count of 306 electors in favor of Joe Biden against 232 in favor of Trump. Mr. Biden will be sworn in as the US President on January 20, 2021.
Responding to the Capitol chaos, Mr. Biden said, “To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices on the Senate floor, rummaging through desks in the House, threatening the safety of duly elected officials – It’s not protest; it’s insurrection.”
“They weren’t protesters. Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, President Trump, who spent months making false claims that the election was stolen and stoked violent protesters on Wednesday, said on Thursday that he would respect the election results.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” he said. “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
Mr. Trump, who earlier stirred the mob, took a different tone on Thursday, saying, “To demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol: you have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engage in acts of violence and destruction: you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law: you will pay.”
A total of four people lost their lives, including one woman who was shot and killed by police and three people died from medical emergencies, and at least 14 police officers were injured in the Capitol violence. Around 68 people have been arrested.