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Electoral College votes for Biden as country administers first COVID vaccinations

William Barr, whose Justice Department found no widespread voter fraud, is out as attorney general.

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The Electoral College makes it official: Joe Biden is the next president of the US with Kamala Harris as vice president.  

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET's coverage of the voting in November and its aftermath.

The Electoral College affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's victory on Monday, as President Donald Trump continued to baselessly claim voter fraud denied him reelection.

Biden received 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232 votes. A total of 270 votes are needed to win the Electoral College.

The win comes after Trump's refusal to concede delayed the presidential transition process amid a once-in-a-century health crisis. Public health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said a smooth transition is critical for the effective distribution of vaccines for COVID-19, which has claimed more than 300,300 American lives. Biden has made addressing the coronavirus a cornerstone of his incoming administration. 

On Monday, the country took a big step toward bringing the pandemic under control by administering the first doses of a vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech. The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine late Friday.

Moderna and an AstraZeneca-Oxford partnership have also produced vaccines.

Over the weekend, Trump continued to blast the election results on Twitter, which promptly labeled his claims about voter fraud as disputed. The president has refused to concede since the Nov. 3 vote, though his legal challenges have been thrown out by or withdrawn from courts. 

On Thanksgiving, Trump seemed to soften and acknowledged he would leave office if Biden were chosen by the Electoral College.

Trump has refrained from commenting on Twitter about the Electoral College vote. He did, however, tweet that Attorney General William Barr would be leaving his position at the Justice Department next week. The relationship between the president and the attorney general began to break down two weeks ago after Barr said his department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

The president appointed Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, who is currently leading the DOJ's antitrust case against Google, to serve as acting attorney general.