tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 14, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
relief. to finally have a weapon not just to fight coronavirus but to beat it. erin. >> martin savidge. thank you very much. thank you to all of you. you can watch the show any time on cnn.com/go. i i ism. good evening, president-elect biden speaking to the country after the electoral college ratified his victory under threats of violence in some states. the out going president refusing to concede despite in court's losses and rejections. americans start to receive vaccinations as deaths in this country at 300,000. attorney general barr resigns. what the president-elect said a few minutes ago. >> this battle for america, democracy prevailed. we, the people, voted, faith in our institutions held.
the integrity of our elections remained intact. now is time to turn the page throughout history to unite and to heal. president-elect biden his remarks coming after not long after the electoral college made it official 306 vote force him and 232 for the presidents. arizona's electors had to meet at an undisclosed location because of concerns of security. the country truly does need to heal in more ways than one. covid-19 vaccinations began today in the u.s., healthcare workers getting the first dose of the pfizer vaccine still in hope and the reality of more than 300,000 americans have died from the virus, many of the nurses and doctors and mt and hospital workers.
the president is showing know signs acknowledging their sacrifices. attorney general barr stepping down today. a letter saying to the president . "i am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the american peop people." it goes on like that for two paragraphs and only the end he mentions he's resigning. again, a big night, i want to start with jeff zeleny, what did
the president-elect hope to accomplish and the electoral college? >> first and foremost was to set the record straight. look, democracy worked in america. this is the most force full we have heard president-elect biden talk in this way since winning the election. we have never seen someone delivering a speech never and never again. we never heard him talk about president trump like this and kr correcting the record list by list and talking about the supreme court's unanimous decision on friday night. he didn't have to go through all this. he wanted clearly and show some anger here. democracy was under assault and was under attack. he put it into context. this is a short speech on purpose. he can deliver a long speech as we all know. he was coughing a bit throughout. he clearly wanted to put a bow on that and say democracy worked and move on.
to correct the record of what has been and just of the disinformation sort of confusing the results. he want 81 million votes, 306 electoral votes, if he's judging by the measure of what president trump said four years ago, it is a landslide. >> as covid-19 vaccines rolling out for the first time, what kind of hope is the president-elect biden expressing for how that process is played out? >> well, he talked about the grim toll this has taken us and the milestone, 300,000 americans. he said it is an urgent priority. the biggest test between the trump administration and biden administration is continuing the vaccines to roll out. there are signs they are in fact are doing so. that's a big challenge here. state and local government have the money to keep this going.
he's calling on congress to do more reform. this is his huge challenge that he's inheriting. he did not answer perhaps one of the biggest kwquestions of all. we are told it could be potentially later this week but they still have not decided that yet. he knows this is the biggest challenge facing his presidency and the country. >> jeff zeleny, thank you very much. the president new reporting on him and as well as the attorney general's departure. >> what happened you heard the relationship of the attorney general and the president have been on the rocks and this letter is over the top and everyone by trump's standards. what are you learning? >> reporter: i have never seen a dear leader resignation before. it is probably the ladder. the same adviser gave an
interesting insight about the president, he's really dreading the day when he's no longer in the a-block, anderson, which is tv vernacular of the top of the newscast. the president only has 37 days of that to go. that'll happen after january 20th. getting back to what happened with bill barr, the white house was telling us no, he was not forced out or fired. the president and him had an amidab amicable conversation today. this was the last gasp from this president trying to stay in the a-block by announcing bill barr is leaving the administration after california put joe biden at the top of the electoral college. >> in terms of the president's
money making scheme and his grift going on and baseless charges of election fraud, is there any reason to believe he's going to change tactic now? >> no. i talked to a source close to the white house, he's not moving into the direction of accepting the election results. campaign continues and i talk to a separate adviser earlier today pointed to january 6th and said that the president and his allies are likely to try to challenge these electoral college results on the floor of the house. that's when the vice president, mike pence, presiding over the electoral votes. republican and house members plan to challenge these election results. wills some huge problems, they need a senator to sign on, calling joe biden president-elect today.
again, this is going nowhere just like the president's hope for a second term or a consecutive term in office. yes, anderson, what we are hearing from our sources and what i am hearing from trump advisers is yes, he's going to continue challenging these election results to the point where it is just to the point where no body is left listening to him. >> jim acosta. thank you very much. gloria borges and david axelrod and john dean. david, what do you make of his speech tonight? >> look, i think he's rather strained in the face of everything that gone on. it has been clear that he won this race weeks and weeks, there is a barrage of disinformation
across the country that had no foundation and the president calling it illinoegitimate and having won the same number that donald trump won in 2016. he had the right reason to be irritated. there is a lot of heroism and a lot of beauty in what happened which is our democracy held. all across the country people did their job sometimes in the face of enormous pressure and sometimes in the face of threats to their lives. that's something we should all be concerned about but democracy held. he's eager to level the indictment on trump and his enablers for what's going on in the last few weeks and continues which is an assault democracy. he finished a plea with unity,
let us build a house on a rock that can never be washed away. li we are a divided country tonight and donald trump has done everything he can to continue the divisions. >> lamar alexander who's close to mitch mcconnell came out to say okay, it is time. many are grudgingly hanging back until january 6th or january 20th? it is hard to know. it is outrageous. it is a shame. they're undermining the very democracy that got them elected but i am sure you are going to see some shenanigans on the house floor on january 6th. in a way i think we heard the president-elect talk about donald trump more than he has
and mentioning his name many times. he felt the need to set the record straight that he won the election fair and square. >> and john dean, in terms of legal challenges and i mean i am using the term loosely because i am not sure -- i know how much legal merit there was to the challenges made. dozens of them. the president never had any ground to stand on despite people sending pictures on ins dpr instagram and on social media and when push comes to shove and lawyers in courts have to present it to a judge have to holdup. does that devolve into some sort of mess or what? >> it could very easily.
i think there is going to be a lot of thunder and rumbling by the republicans. that's what they have done in court, anderson. they tried to go in and pretend they have information but judges who are very preceptive of this sort of thing cuts through the dust and find it is nothing. that's what's going to happen if they manage to object, they get the procedure going into each chamber and start deby the watie different caucuses whether they are electors or not. they don't have any evidence and unable to present it. it is not going to work but it will be theater. you can count on that. >> the rest of the letter from the attorney general, it is sort
of parody. i guess how else would it end other than some huge firing on twitter? >> well, i think that was -- >> sorry. that was for david. go ahead, john. >> go ahead, john. >> yeah. >> john, go ahead. >> i think what's most telling is the way it was handled. the fact that barr's people remained in place, his attorney general selected to brought into run the department on the daily basis and his principle escalated to deputy attorney general. this is not a radical change from barr's point of view. there may be people doing things to trump. i think they wanted to put a face on this for some reason
that there is more business to get out of the department. there was not a lot of hard feeling in the way it ended. >> david, how much more can be done in the am of time before january 20th. >> barr knew that and antagonize the president on two fronts, one because he would not attest to the charges of massive fraud which is a big conspiracy theory. you know these two things enraged the president so barr understood that he was probably at the end of the line here. i also think he knows what can happen in the next few weeks and i expect there will be more g
grotesque distortion of the rule of law here as the president gets ready the leave the white house. >> i think barr is a master of the clean get away. i think that's what he was trying to do here. not only because there is going to be some pardons that he may have objected to and did not want to be associated with. he knows he was going to be firfir fired by tweets. if he did not go in and write this ridiculous letter to the president. not only the timing of this suspicious right after joe biden when over the top at the electoral college but the first line of this letter says "i appreciate the opportunity to update you this afternoon on the department review of voter fraud allegations in the 2020 election and have those allegations continued to be pursued ". never again was that mentioned in the rest of the letter. there is no update here. it is clearly what the president
dictated to him and said you need to talk about this and how you are going to pursue that in your justice department. that's what he wants. >> that conversation was held ahead of the meeting and barr comes to the white house with that letter already done? >> or with mark meadows. >> are you saying they wrote it while they were there and they just print it up? >> i don't know. i have a suspicion that the president had a lot of input to the first line of this letter and the rest is just pawning. ridiculous. >> do we think that bill barr does not know how to write a letter that will please the president? >> a clean get away guy. >> i imagine he knew how to construct it. >> the president actually references the letter and clearly the president was in on this whole conversation. suddenly he's referencing the letter as if the letter had great importance which is not anything you see the president doing. in terms of what may happen
january 6th, there is not really, there is no options really. >> there are not options. set procedures of the congress must follow. they must convene. pence, if he does not want to announce the findings of the results of the electoral college, he has to step aside and let the president step forward and announce those results. it is not something where he cab get up and say i refuse to do this if he's not going to do it, he's got to tell them in advance and can't lay his body down and pull a show. so this is going to go just by script and we been here before and done this many times. there are few options other than internal argument going into each chamber and debating these
things and comment back when they can't resolve because they have no alternatives. there are no other certified electors other than those support biden as the winner. the 306 of them. >> john, david, gloria, appreciate it. fascinating day. gloria borge, appreciate it. >> stacey abrams joins us. next more on barr's departure. jo george conway is here. and icu nurse, sandra lindsey, what it means to her and healthcare professionals on the frontline with her. students of color typically do not have access to high quality computer science and stem education. ♪
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the end of the end of a delusional president staying in office. president-elect biden spoke of the situation tonight and in direct of the president and his enablers. >> he took full advantage of each and every one of those evidence. president trump was denied no course of action he wanted to take. he took his case to republican governors and republican secretary of state as he criticized them. the republican state legislatures to republican appointed judges at every level. the case decided after the supreme court's latest
that the voters have spoken and the sitting of the president of the united states refuses to at the very least did not acknowledge this. >> thank you for having me on, anderson. it says a lot about the president and less about the country. it says three things about the president. one thing is he's delusional as you just said and secondly he's basically running a scam financially otherwise, scam on the american people, or at least some segment of the american people. he's seeking to undermine, if he can't have the presidency, he does not want anybody to have it. they brought a lawsuit in new mexico and in federal district court arguing that drop boxes were put in different places before the election. the lawsuit they called have brought more than 41 days ago
when the election is held. it makes no sense to bring this lawsuit. new mexico had only 5 electoral votes and he's down by 74. he lost new mexico by 11,000 votes. it is 11%. today the electors of new mexico and 49 other states cast their votes. no court is going to give relief at this point. the lawsuit is just a joke. it is crazy. it is delusional as you said. >> if you look at it as a grift. if the grift is raising money from people who genuinely believe the president, you know continuing the frivolous lawsuits allow or gives cover for the grift, he's making a lot of money. . >> correct. they have raised over $200 million? it is more than that.
it is also he needs to convince himself in and his supporters for his own psychological needs that he actually won the election. that's where you get back to the point where he's delusional and he can't see the truth from his own lies and fantasies. imagine if a pilot united airlines behave like this or an army colonel behaves like this or kyle shanahan went out after losing the super bowl and said hey all those points in the fourth quarter were fake. those passes and those passes by mahomes did not count and brought 60 lawsuits and lost them all. those people will be cashiered in a minute. >> do you think he believes it? he convinces himself what he wants to believe.
i don't think in his own mind, truth and lis and lies mean it? they're just words to him and everything in his own mind does not count and out there in reality does not count. that's the way he's behaving. the scary thing that people are following him. >> that's the next thing i want to talk about. i get people who were not on a daily bases following the ins and outs of what's happening in politics and believing the president and they believe he's done good stuff and they want to believe their president, i understand that. i guess the stuff of what i don't understand are folks on capitol hill who should know better and should know the law better and yet have allowed the republican party to just be completely now turning to the
party of trump and are now allow ing the party to held hostage to the win of what he decides to do. >> it is astounding. he's shown himself to be who he is over the past four gears. his behavior after the election is predicted. the fact that even after he has lost and lost decisively. people are still pretending that he didn't or humoring him and not criticizing him or contradicting him that you can get 18 state attorney generals to file and support of this garbage they sent to the supreme court and 126 members of the house to sign on and also in support of that garbage that the supreme court unanimously slapped down. i mean it is terribly disheartening. i shows the people are just doing it they are afraid or
taken in. the psychology of it is beyond my comprehension. i do think there are numbers and a lot of these people know better. they know he's nuts and pathological liar. they know all of this. the price they pay in terms of stature or electoral viability is too great and so if you want something, i don't know if he's going to be gone in 40 days. they simply bury their heads or go along and they hope that they're not the subject of a mean tweet. the people who do the right thing can now even barr get cashiered or criticized like governor kemp and governor doocey. if you do the right thing, you get trashed. >> what's in the president's
head? you could look at it as a strategy that he attacks the people who have been his most loyal servants. jeff sessions whether you agree whether or not, he was executing the orders, he was doing what the president wanted him to do. he was actually you know getting judges through and getting people on the bench. barr is the same, you can look as a message of republicans in congress don't cross him any way because he has no compassion of whatever you done for him in the past if kneecapping you if it serves his interests as president. >> the last line is you can never love a narcissist. you can never do enough for him.
he does not care what you did yesterday. if you find some kind of a conflict between your public duties and what he thinks is in his interests to have you do in a given moment, you are done. that's what happened s in jeff sessions in 2015 and 2016. that's what we are seeing to governor kemp who campaigned extensively for the president to seek the election for the president and governor doocey and bill barr have been criticized to the end of the earth including giving a misleading mueller report and b v intervening of roger stone, all those things he's done.
and he never -- he sat on the investigation and kept secret of hu hunter biden which is what he was supposed t to do and fraud n the election. those are sins for trump. it does not matter what barr did for him. trump does not care. >> what do you see for the next -- what do you imagine his post presidential life to be? >> i don't know. i think it is going to be continual grift and grievance. he's going to try to continue being the center of attention because he needs to be the center attention psychologically
and maybe trying to raise money. >> without having a presidential shield. >> that's harder and the grievance aspect. he's going to his dying breath that this election is fraudulently taken from him and you will hear more. we'll see reports at "the new york times" recently that the new york county district attorney's office is ramping up its criminal investigation of somebody, maybe the trump organization or the president himself? he's just going to be continual of grievance until forever. >> george conway, i appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. >> speaking of history was made today of the first pfizer vaccination in the u.s. i will talk to the first healthcare patient who got the first vaccine. ♪
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those days. we watched as the viles came into this hospital. they're one of the first to get it here at the university of mish dpchiga michigan. it came around the same time the united states surpassed 300,000 people dead due to covid-19. this really is a bit of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. >> this moment could not come soon enough. icu nurse, sandra lindsey, one of the first in the united states to get the covid-19 outside of a clinical trial and so as the medical medicine doctor. >> it feels great. >> reporter: today workers loaded boxes of pfizer. a historic day that arrived in record time. cnn was there, the moment
university of michigan medical staff got the vaccine. a box filled with dry ice and 390 viles. each viles have five doses inside. it was administered to healthcare workers who have exhausted themselves taking care of coronavirus patients while putting themselves in danger. >> the really important thing is we can see the horizon. we can see how this is going to end. >> reporter: from michigan medicine to florida, something to cheer about finally. after a year of devastating lost, more than 300,000 covid-19 deaths in america.
>> it is momentus, it is a wonderful day. >> reporter: the vaccines is being delivered nationwide using a thermal shifter. there is renewed hope, this vaccine can start us now what to be a long road of recovery. >> we are exposed every minute of everyday. i can tell you how much it means to me. i feel like i won a million dollar lottery getting this vaccine. >> what happens when the vaccine is taken to places don't have that specialized equipment? >>. >> reporter: yeah, there are plenty of places that don't have it. that's why it is packaged the way it is. you saw those boxes, they call one section of that that had all the dry ice in there. the bunker is how operation warp speed official told us. that can keep it cold, as cold as it needs to be for several
days. there are also other package they have been sending out that does the same thing. that's how that'll get out to different places. if they don't have the cold storage, they'll need to keep it and bring more dry ice which is relatively cheap and try to keep it in those sub zero temperatures. anderson? >> sara sidner. thank you. one of the first people to receive the vaccine, the first was sandra lindsey, an icu nurse working with a sick patient. she works at long island jewish medical center in new york. thank you so much for joining us. i know it has been a long day for you. although i am sure you are used to a lot of long days in your life saving worth. you had the vaccine this morning and how does it feel to be apart of history and are you feeling anything from the vaccine? >> anderson, thank you for having me on and giving me this platform to share my experience. i feel dpraet. it does not feel any different
than the influenza vaccine that i take annually that i took two months ago. how did you get to be the first in the u.s. to receive the vaccine. i assume you volunteer for this? >> i have volunteered and i speak openly that when ever this vaccine is approved to be given that i would be among the first when my turn came up that i would take the vaccine, i have no fear. i trust the science. my profession is deeply rooted in science. i trust science. what i don't trust is getting covid-19 because i don't know how it will affect me and the people around me that i could potentially transfer the virus to. >> today the surgeon general
addressed vaccine hesitancy. hif rick experiments that were done on black men. people have been disproportionately affected by the virus. were these things on your mind when you volunteered to receive the vaccine? >> so, i understand the mistrust among minority community. yes, it was on my mind but mostly i want to be apart of the solution to put an end to this pandemic once and for all. as you mentioned in your introduction, i have seen tremendous loss, pain suffering, fear in the eyes of my colleagues. everyday that we come to work
courageously to save lives. i think as a leader in the organization that i lead by example. i don't ask people to do anything that i would not do myself. so i was happy to volunteer and be among the first. i did not know that i would make history and that's not why i did it. i wanted to do it to inspire people who are skeptical about taking the vaccine and trust in the science. >> i think about you and so many of those are in the trenches and on the frontline seeing deaths day in and day out and saving lives. when you go outside the hospital on your way home and you see people not wearing masks or not social distancing or hanging out in a bar, you know, thinking that they're young and does not matter or they're not going to get sick. what is your amessage to people well, there is a vaccine now so
the mask wearing is not important. >> so it is just as important now. we are not out of the woods yet. the light is brighter tonight in the tunnel. we are seeing the light at the oech end of the tunnel but this is not over. i would say to people that covid-19 virus is real. i have witnessed it firsthand. we are still witnessing it. i urge you to listen to the experts. wear yo you aur masks and pract social distance and also to remember the vaccine is no good in the freezer, it is better and effective when it goes into your body and start interacting with your immune system. please, listen to the science it
is real. continue to wear your mask and social distance. if you can put off your celebrations, please do. do them virtually. people have been coming up with all sorts of creativie ways to interact with family. do that this year so we can be together next year in person. >> yes. sandra slindsey, i appreciate yu talking tonight and what you do as a nurse and everyone in the medical field. thank you very much, i appreciate it. >> thank you, anderson. a tremendous thanks to my team members and frontline workers and social workers all across the board. we are fighting the good fight. thank you. >> we are lucky to have you. join me now dr. sanjay gupta. certainly have been waiting for this day for a loong time. sanjay, your reaction as well as your own thought on this day.
>> it is a historic day and she's going to be a person recorded in the history books. this is all part of what's going to be written in the his city books for one day just like what i have been reading back in 1918. one day people will come back and look at this time and sandra's name will be in there as the first person to be vaccinated in this country. they're walking in with ipads so they can have conversations with their families and they walk out of the hospital and you know it is treated as it is not a real thing. that's what sandra was alluded to a little bit there. people working in the hospital are frightening that they may be
carrying the virus themselves and going to the super market and gas station and believing it is real. it is a lot of whiplash for healthca healthcare providers so it is good to see her getting vaccinated. >> everybody is watching tonight. when do most people who are not necessarily or not in the medical field or the frontline, when do those of us further back, when do you think the vast majority of people will be touched by this vaccine? >> well, you know, it is dependant on a couple of things. overall we are looking at spring and early summer, i think we did your calculation. you were like 280th million. we have the pfizer vaccine and we'll go through the same process possibly with moderna
vaccine. we have 200 million doses purchased and astrazeneca and johns johnson & johnson. if those come to tuition, there will be a lot there. you got to make sure it is up to par and creating tens of thousands of doses. they got the make sure they are doing that. i think, you know, i am hearing from a lot of people who are modelling this out, late spring and early summer for most people in the country. >> given the vaccine hesitancy, how important will it be for people to continue to receive those shots on camera. i think there are something about normalizing it. once you start to see it and you see it as a real thing, oh it is
kept in a >> right. yeah. that was striking today to see those shots and even hear sandra talk about it because there is so much science behind it. we have been reporting on it for so long, the amazing tech knowledge and then it is this mundane shot just like any other shot that people have had. but i think stories like sandra's actually go a long way towards addressing vaccine hesitancy. 60% of people in the country say they will be taking it. but black americans are at 53%. so it's lower there. you have black americans who can cast a scientific eye toward it and say that, yes, i evaluated it and i decided to take it. i think it goes a long way. >> up next, i'll talk to stacey abrams. her thoughts on president-elect biden's speech tonight. some hot cocoa?
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it's worth repeating. breaking news, the electoral college has affirmed the election of president biden and kamala harris. biden won two battleground states, including arizona and georgia. stacey abrams joins me now. representative abrams, thanks so much for being with us. today was obviously a historic
day in georgia. not since bill clinton in 1992 has a democratic ticket won your state. do you believe this marks a shift in the transition? >> i will say it was a thrilling relief. i believe that we have closure and that we hadoesn't mean we he those that will try to undo the outcome. but what we have confirmed is that democracy holds, that we are willing to go through this process and regardless of the outcome we are willing to do the work of preserving what has gotten us this far for more than 240 years. >> as you know, the president has gone after the governor of georgia, also the secretary of state. both republicans. the governor he used to praise lavishly during the pandemic when the governor opened things up very quickly, what do you think the impact will be of his constant attempts to undermine the voting process, particularly
on the senate runoffs next month? >> one of the differences between myself and donald trump is i actually believe in every voter who is eligible being able to cast a ballot, and it is always deeply disappointing when an elected official works to undermine the integrity of the ballot and works to create confusion among voters. we are pushing hard to get voters to use absentee ballots, mail-in ballots because the safest most effective way to vote in georgia. we are in the midst of a third covid surge. while we are all excited about the possibility of this vaccine, there are millions of voters who need to be heard before the vaccine reaches them. it is our mission to make certain that in georgia everyone who wants to vote by mail can figure out how to make a plan to vote, voting early in person starting today, voting by mail. but it is disappointing that the president of the united states is industrying to undermine the integrity of the vote. >> today was the first day of
early voting in your state. turnout for runoff races is usually lower. what is your strategy to getting people out to the polls without the attraction of a presidential ticket on the ballot. obviously you have done extraordinary work in georgia to register people to get people to vote in the general election. >> people's lives are on the line. whether it's president biden or former president trump as we get to january, it's still going to be a question of do people get relief from the economic effect of covid, from the public health impact of covid. will there be any action on the racial justice questions that continue to plague our country. and there are only two candidates in this race that have demonstrated any concern for the people of georgia. where kelly loeffler and david purdue have failed georgia. they have allowed mitch mcconnell to block access to the millions of dollars that could be coming into the state of
georgia. we have had one in four small businesses that were open last year that have shut down. we have 160,000 people facing evictions. we have 4.1 million job loss claims, and we have watched as the nation burns and unfortunately as mitch mcconnell fiddles and refuses to take action, anderson, we have watched david purdue and kelly loeffler standing with him with the matches. that means electing to the senate and ga g voters understand it. >> cnn is reporting there are fewer voting places in the state than there were for the election. how concerned are you about that? >> we know there will be fewer locations available because this will have a smaller turnout number than a presidential election. presidential elections are high watermarks. however, we have targeted certain counties where we know that not only have they closed
polling locations. they have closed them in largely democratic areas that serve largely communities of color. cobbs county was one of the counties because of a consortium of organizations. we were able to convince them to open additional locations. we're focussing on the county with a large asian american county and hall county with a large latino population. we want everyone in georgia to understand you have three ways to vote. you can vote early in person starting today through january 1st. you can request your absentee ballot by going to peachvote.com and you can vote on election day, january 5th. although we consider that last call and we prefer that people make their votes before we get to the holidays. >> stacey abrams, thank you. >> don't miss full circle, our digital news show. you can catch it streaming live at cnn.com or watch it there and on the cnn app at any time on
demand. it has been a remarkable day. the news continues. let's hand it over to chris for "cuomo primetime." >> remarkable, indeed. we're making the right kind of history here. now comes the vaccine, our first good chance to really limit the exposure here. so anderson, thank you very much for carrying the coverage. i am chris cuomo, welcome to "primetime." on two of the most important fronts. america's big win in court friday meant that our democracy could advance today. and, so, today the electoral college met. the electors cemented president-elect biden's victory. retrumplican threats to stall it amounted to nothing once again. 538 electors from 530 states reaffirming the votes cast by you more than 150 million americans. and with this validation of