The Biden-Harris ticket will have no easy way through the next four years to make good on promises of reform, unity and advancement. Together their fates are inextricably linked, making history on several fronts.
Harris is the first woman of Black and South Asian descent to be elected as vice president and more votes were cast in this presidential election than any other in history. To date, the Biden-Harris ticket secured more than 80 million votes, even while Trump continues to debase the country’s democratic process with unproven voter fraud claims repeatedly shot down by federal courts led by judges he appointed.
“TIME has always had a special connection to the presidency. Every elected president since F.D.R. [President Franklin D. Roosevelt] has been Person of the Year at some point in their term. This is the first time we’ve also named a vice president as person of the year. The Biden-Harris ticket represents something historic,” TIME CEO and editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said in a video accompanying the report.
“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are TIME’s 2020 Person of the Year,” Felsenthal wrote.
But there remains deep-seated distrust, especially among communities who are fighting two pandemics — racial violence and injustice as well as the coronavirus — which have each disproportionately ravaged Black communities. On the other hand is the division at home and abroad after four years of Trump’s presidency which will undoubtedly exit stage left in the way it came: with hate and discord.
Restoring diplomacy among former allies while fighting to improve domestic policies like racial justice, climate change, economic equity and immigration are top of mind factors for Americans and the Biden-Harris administration.
Prior to TIME’s announcement, a shortlist for Person of the Year was revealed which other hopefuls, Donald Trump, Frontline Health Care Workers, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Movement for Racial Justice. There was much controversy over MSNBC seemingly sloganizing George Floyd‘s police killing.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan was named Businessperson of the Year, while activists Assa Traoré, Porche Bennett-Bey and racial-justice organizers; frontline health workers fighting the pandemic; and Dr. Anthony Fauci were named Guardians of the Year. NBA star LeBron James took home Athlete of the Year and Korean-pop group BTS was named Entertainer of the Year.
You can visit the full list and read about each honorees work at TIME.