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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris named Time's Person of the Year

Time's 2020 Person of the Year
Why Time chose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as its 2020 Person of the Year 04:13

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2020. The annual recognition, which is awarded to "the individual or group of people who affected the news or our lives the most, for better or worse," was announced on Thursday. 

This is the first time a vice president has been named as a Person of the Year, Time said. 

"The Biden-Harris ticket represents something historic," Time tweeted alongside a video of the announcement. "Person of the Year is not just about the year that was, but about where we're headed." 

Edward Felsenthal, editor-in-chief and CEO of Time, said in the video that "the next four years are going to be an enormous test of them and all of us to see whether they can bring about the unity they've promised." 

"Biden and Harris share a faith that empathetic governance can restore the solidarity we've lost," Time Magazine wrote in its tribute to the winners. "... All new Presidents inherit messes from their predecessors, but Biden is the first to have to think about literally decontaminating the White House. Combatting the pandemic is only the start of the challenge, at home and abroad. There are alliances to rebuild, a stimulus package to pass, a government to staff." 

Time pointed to a long list of executive orders the president-elect is planning to implement as soon as he enters the White House, including restoring DACA, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, and reversing travel bans. 

"Even if Trump still captivates a broad swath of the country, the President-elect believes the rancor will fade as Trump exits stage right," Time wrote. "...On Jan. 20, the lights will come up, and the show will go on." 

Three other individuals or groups were on the shortlist for the recognition: The movement for racial justice, Donald Trump, and frontline health care workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Time described 2020 as "a year dominated by a staggering loss of life across the world." 

The magazine tweeted the message with a video replaying some of the year's events, including protests, riots and the lethal impact of COVID-19. 

"2020 has not been a kind year. It's been a year that preyed on the weak and the sick. A year that claimed lives and tested trust. A year filled with division and upended by chaos," the narrator says. "... But it's a world still filled with courage, compassion and heart." 

TIME has announced a Person of the Year every year since 1927. Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg was awarded the title in 2019 for challenging world leaders to combat climate change and for inspiring a "global movement," according to the outlet. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci; frontline health care workers; and Assa Traoré, Porche Bennett-Bey, and other racial justice organizers were honored with Time's Guardian of the Year award.  

Other honorees this year include K-pop band BTS for Entertainer of the Year; LeBron James for Athlete of the Year, and Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, for Businessperson of the Year. 

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