President-elect Joe Biden has solidified his election win over Donald Trump with a projected victory in the state of Georgia, as his defiant rival appeared to hint that the presidency could soon change hands.
If the victory - projected by American broadcaster CNN - is confirmed, it will gift him an additional 16 electoral college votes, putting him at 306 and leaving Mr Trump at 232 after his projected win in North Carolina.
The Georgia victory - the first time a Democrat has won the state since 1992 - means Mr Biden's win over President Trump is now being described as a "landslide" by CNN.
With the margin between the two rivals just 0.3 percentage points in Georgia, Mr Trump is able to request a recount when an audit of vote process there is complete next week.
Despite a recount being likely, Mr Trump would still not win the election even in the unlikely event that the vote result is overturned, because Mr Biden's overall lead is too large.
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And Mr Trump while not admitting his loss, now appears to be acknowledging that his days in the White House could be numbered.
In a speech at the White House rose garden - his first public remarks since his election loss was confirmed - the president promised he would not put the country into lockdown, but hinted that the decision may not be his much longer.
President Trump, who has repeatedly made unfounded claims about widespread voter fraud in the US election, said "time will tell" who will be in White House in January.
The president said his administration would not go into lockdown, even as the US sets records for confirmed cases of Covid-19 and deaths climb to the highest levels since the spring, but admitted he could not be sure what any future administration may decide to do.
Mr Trump said: "Ideally we wont go to a lockdown, I will not go, this administration will not be going to a lockdown, hopefully whatever happens in the future...who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell but I can tell you, this administration will not be going into a lockdown."
Mr Trump has levelled baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, even as his own administration has said there is no evidence to support the claims.
His aides suggest he is merely trying to keep his base of supporters on his side in defeat.
Mr Trump spoke with conservative media on Friday, including Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera, suggesting he would acknowledge the loss only after exhausting his legal options.
“You know, he told me he was a realist,” Mr Rivera said. “He told me he would do the right thing.”
With more than 100,000 new confirmed US cases reported daily for more than a week, Mr Trump has been more focused on tracking the rollout of a vaccine, which will not be widely available for months.
Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports on Trump's speech
He has fumed that Pfizer intentionally withheld an announcement about progress on its vaccine trial until after Election Day, according to a White House official. Pfizer said it did not purposely withhold trial results.
Mr Trump, aiming to settle political scores, said he would not ship vaccines to hard-hit New York until Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo signs off, noting that the state has promised to do its own review to ensure their safety. “The governor will let us know when he’s ready,” Mr Trump said.
Although the president has consistently played down the pandemic, which has killed more than 240,000 Americans and infected more than 10 million people in the US, public health experts expressed worry about Mr Trump’s silence on the troubling spike in cases, as well as his refusal to begin coordination on virus issues with Mr Biden’s transition team.
“It’s a big problem,” said Dr Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“The transition is not going to happen until January, and we are in a complete crisis right now. We already knows where this is headed. It’s not good enough to say we’re going to wait until the next president to address this."