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Biden calls for unity in first speech as president-elect

Plus: Trump supporters gather outside Minnesota governor’s residence to protest election results; coronavirus shows few signs of slowing down across Upper Midwest; Wisconsin reports another single-day record for confirmed COVID-19 cases; and more.

The New York Times reports: “Joseph R. Biden Jr. addressed the nation for the first time as president-elect on Saturday night, delivering a message of unity and trying to soothe the extraordinary divisions that defined the last four years in American politics. ‘Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,’ he said. In remarks before a drive-in audience in Wilmington brimming with longtime friends from Delaware, his home state, he directly appealed to the tens of millions of Americans who backed President Trump’s re-election, seeking to make good on his central campaign promise of bringing the country together. ‘For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight,’ Mr. Biden, speaking at the conclusion of his third run for the presidency, said. ‘I’ve lost a couple times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again.’ He added, ‘This is the time to heal in America.’”

In the Washington Post, Toluse Olorunnipa, Annie Linskey and Philip Rucker write: “Trump on Saturday continued to make baseless claims that the election was rigged, assertions that have been echoed by his loyal supporters. ‘I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES,’ Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon, despite the reality that he was losing the popular vote for a second time and at risk of facing a 306-to-232 electoral college drubbing. Trump’s allies encouraged his supporters to prepare to protest in the streets, and most Republican leaders remained silent rather than publicly acknowledging the outcome of a free and fair election resulting in their ­standard-bearer’s defeat.”

For the AP, Anita Snow, David Goldman and Lisa Marie Pane write: “Chanting “This isn’t over!” and “Stop the steal,” supporters of President Donald Trump protested at state capitols across the country Saturday, refusing to accept defeat and echoing Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations that the Democrats won by fraud. … In St. Paul, dozens of Trump supporters gathered outside the Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue and decried what they saw as cheating in the presidential election. ‘We’re here to protest the election: the illegalities, the inconsistencies with the election,’ said Chad Rafdal of Blooming Prairie, Minn. ‘If we can’t depend on the integrity of the elections … all future generations’ elections aren’t going to matter.’”

Also from the AP: “North Dakota and South Dakota have the nation’s worst rate of deaths per capita over the last 30 days. … In the Dakotas, the virus has shown few signs of slowing down. With winter approaching and hospitals scrambling to make room for COVID-19 patients, medical experts worry that virus deaths will continue to climb in a region where people have been slow to adopt mitigation measures like wearing masks. The Republican governors of both states have derided government orders to help halt the outbreaks, leaning on ideals of limited government.”

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KSTP-TV’s Kyle Brown reports: “The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 7,065 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, shattering the previous record of 6,141 that had been set just one day earlier. To date, 263,130 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Wisconsin health officials reported an additional 45 deaths from the virus, bringing the state’s total to 2,301 since the start of the pandemic. An additional 173 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized. According to the latest DHS report, 1,787 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 385 in intensive care. To date, 12,727 people — about 4.8% of those with confirmed coronavirus cases — have required hospitalization in Wisconsin.”

Also from the AP: “Mariners’ Church of Detroit will observe the 45th anniversary Sunday of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The church is holding its yearly memorial service for the thousands of sailors who have died in Great Lakes shipwrecks over the years. The Fitzgerald ore carrier plunged to the bottom of Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. All 29 crew members were lost.The annual service will be live-streamed on Facebook for the first time.”