It has been four days since Democrat nominee Joe Biden was announced the winner of 2020 Presidential Election but President Donald Trump refuses to concede defeat. In the meantime, Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris have already started discussing healthcare and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at various events in hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, where stages can be seen decorated with posters reading, 'the Office of the President Elect.'
Now, these posters have given rise to a new subject of debate between Republicans and Democrats. A new claim has now surfaced on social media alleging that Biden created 'the Office of the President Elect' in strategic move to convince millions of voters that Trump had no chance at another term. And this was done when the vote counting wasn't even over. Social media users have since then been asking if Biden did really create such an office, which is not allowed.
The Big Question
A section of the social media users started claiming on Tuesday that Biden, in a nefarious move to convince Americans that Trump would definitely lose this year's election, created 'the Office of the President Elect' even before the vote counting was over. One of the first people to make the claims was Sebastian Gorka, a former adviser to Trump who hosts a conservative talk show. He posted on Twitter that Biden started 'the Office of the President Elect' but there is no such thing in the United States like that.
Social media users have been trying to verify the authenticity of the news, with many photographs of Biden appearing with posters of 'the Office of the President Elect' in the background. In between, on November 7, the results were declared with Biden securing majority of the votes — 270.
A couple of days later, Biden addressed the nation at a podium decorated with a sign that read 'the Office of the President Elect.' Republicans on the other hand called that such a signage was too premature give that Trump hasn't conceded defeat. This added fuel to the fire and social media went abuzz with claims that Biden had been wrongfully trying to convince millions of Americans that Trump was never a tough contender.
What Actually Happened
It is not unusual for states to take days to come up with the final tally of votes and then designate electors, and that process continues under federal laws regardless of a losing candidate's willingness to acknowledge defeat. However, there has been no evidence that Biden campaign or his staff, known as Biden-Harris transition team, used posters and decorations in the background of different podiums reading 'the Office of the President Elect' even before the results were announced.
Biden did address the nation with such decorations in the background, but that was only a couple of days after he was officially announced winner. So it's not true that Biden created the 'the Office of the President Elect' and also he wasn't he the first person to address the country under that title. In fact, 'the Office of the President Elect' is a common practice adopted by the marketing team of president-elect to use it before the Inauguration Day.
No federal law establishes 'the Office of the President Elect' as a formal section of government but at the same time federal agencies accept such office as an informal title for teams working on behalf of presidents-elect. It can be concluded that initiatives promoted by Biden and Harris under the title of 'the Office of the President Elect' were part of a larger effort by their transition team to prepare for their new jobs and not a conspiracy to undermine Trump.