Biden and Harris have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2020

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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
  • President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2020.
  • The pair were chosen over finalists including President Donald Trump, the movement for racial justice, and frontline health workers with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  • Time’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, said Biden and Harris received the recognition “for changing the American story” and “for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division.”
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President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2020.

Biden and Harris defeatedPresident Donald Trump in the November general election, making him only the 11th president in US history to lose a reelection bid. In winning the election, Harris is set to become the first female, first Black, and first Indian American vice president.

Biden, a former US senator from Delaware who served as vice president under President Barack Obama, and Harris, a US senator from California, will be featured on the magazine’s December 21 cover.

The pair was selected over finalists including Trump, the movement for racial justice, and frontline health workers with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In 2019, Time recognised the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg with the distinction.

This year marks the first time an incoming vice president has been included on the list.

Time’s editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal, said Biden and Harris were recognised “for changing the American story” and “for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division.”

“Person of the Year is not just about the year that was but about where we’re headed,” he added. “The next four years are going to be an enormous test of them, and all of us, to see whether they can bring about the unity that they promised.”

During a taped segment for the magazine, Biden reflected on the US’s morality.

“I’m convinced the American public is looking for the possibilities that are available out there,” Biden said. “They know we’re so much better than this. When I ran I said, ‘This is about who we are as a nation, who we’re going to be, what we want to be.’ And the American people stepped up.”

Harris reflected on the message from her victory speech in which she discussed the historic nature of her candidacy.

“I will be the first, but I will not be the last,” Harris said of the role she’d assume in January. “That’s about legacy, that’s about creating a pathway, that’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.”

Biden has continued to emphasise his message of unity despite Trump and many of his allies continuing to contest the results of the presidential election.

“I was able to, against advice from a lot of people, do the things that I was told were gonna hurt me politically,” Biden said. “But I would argue that it turned out that that’s what the American people were looking for: They’re looking for some honesty, decency, respect, unity.”

Biden handily won the Electoral College with 306 electoral votes, compared with 232 for Trump and well above the 270 needed to win. Each candidate received more votes than any past US presidential candidate, with a margin of roughly 7 million separating the two, 81 million to 74 million.

The president-elect reflected on the endurance of American citizens, a theme he touched on many times during his campaign.

“We’re the only country in the world that has come out of every crisis stronger than we went into the crisis,” Biden said.

He added: “I predict we will come out of this crisis stronger than when we went in.”