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Leading Democrat Pelosi endorses Biden for US president

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Mr Biden has already emerged as the Democrats' presumptive nominee after decisive primary victories in a string of primaries.

Washington

JOE Biden on Monday won Nancy Pelosi's endorsement for US president. She hailed him as a "voice of reason" capable of leading America out of the coronavirus crisis.

Ms Pelosi was the last leading Democrat to endorse formally Mr Biden's run for the White House against Republican Donald Trump in November.

"Today I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States because he will be an extraordinary president," the speaker of the House of Representatives said in the pre-recorded message.

Mr Biden, who served as vice-president under former president Barack Obama, had already emerged as the Democrats' presumptive nominee after decisive primary victories in a string of primaries before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down much of the country.

His main rivals, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have dropped out of the race and endorsed him, as has Mr Obama.

In her statement, Ms Pelosi lauded the former senator from Delaware as a man of "empathy, grace and courage" and "a leader with the humility to seek expertise in science and the confidence to act on it".

"As we face coronavirus, Joe Biden has been a voice of reason and resilience with a clear path to lead us out of this crisis," she said.

She cited Mr Biden's experience in government, including his role in passing the Affordable Care Act, as an evidence of his leadership qualities.

Her backing coincided with Mr Biden's release on Monday of a memo calling on the Trump administration to expand virus testing capabilities - including launching a 100,000-person public health jobs corps to assist with the testing and contact tracing - and sketching out his vision for re-opening the US economy.

The endorsements have given him a series of headlines at a time when his campaign is effectively on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak - and when US President Donald Trump has captured media attention with his combative White House briefings.

The Democrats are eager to project unity heading into the presidential race against Mr Trump for the Nov 3 general election. In recent weeks, the more moderate Mr Biden has made attempts to win the support of the liberal backers of Mr Sanders and Ms Warren. AFP, BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

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