Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden set the tone for his general election battle with Donald Trump on Thursday night by vowing to draw on the best the country has to offer and lead it out of its present “season of darkness”.

He spoke in Delaware as he formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the first virtual convention, forced by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

He vowed to heal a country battered by a deadly pandemic and an economic catastrophe by uniting all Americans, while warning that President Donald Trump would go on stoking hatred and fear if elected to another four-year term.

“Here and now, I give you my word: if you entrust me with the presidency, I’ll draw on the best of us, not the worst,” Biden said as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination for an election 75 days away.

He promised to represent all Americans and to work “just as hard” for those who do not support him, drawing an implicit contrast with the Republican Trump, who has shown little inclination to appeal beyond his base of voters.

“Our current president has failed in his most basic duty to the nation: he has failed to protect us,” Biden said.

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