Mr Biden said he and his staff were “not waiting to get the work done”, instead vowing to “start the process” on a number of the key issues on which he campaigned.
He named the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, climate change and systemic racism among them, but said his first priority upon election would be bringing a fractured country back together.
“In America, we hold strong views, we have strong disagreements, and that is OK,” he said.
“Strong disagreements are inevitable in a democracy. Strong disagreements are healthy. They are a sign of a vigorous debate of deeply held views, but we have to remember the purpose of our politics isn’t total unrelenting warfare.
“No, the purpose of our politics, the work of the nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot and improve the lives of our people.
“We may be opponents but we are not enemies, we are Americans.
“No matter who you voted for, I’m certain of one thing — the vast majority of them, 150 million who voted, they want the vitriol out of our politics.
“We are going to disagree on issues but we have to be civil. To put the anger and the demonisation behind us.
“It is time for us to come together as a nation to heal. It is not going to be easy, but we have to try.”