Joe Biden, Kamala Harris Named Time Magazine's Person of the Year

President-Elect Joe Biden And Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris — Getty — H 2020
Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

South Korean pop group BTS was named Entertainer of the Year, whereas Dr. Anthony Fauci was named Guardian of the Year.

Time magazine has named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as its 2020 Person of the Year.

The title reflects the ability of the chosen individual to "affect the news or our lives, for better or worse," as the magazine describes.

Upon the winning the honor Thursday, Biden and Harris simply said, "Thank you for the honor."

During the NBC primetime special, Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal said Biden and Harris won the honor for "changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world."

"Every elected President since FDR has at some point during his term been a Person of the Year, nearly a dozen of those in a presidential election year. This is the first time we have included a Vice President," said Felsenthal.

With Harris chosen, it marks the first time that Time has also named a vice-president-elect as the Person of the Year.

Cindy McCain appeared in the segment addressing the end of Trump's presidential term as Biden and Harris take over. "If you see a divisive leader, it trickles down," she said. Amy Klobuchar also appeared to praise Harris as someone who "takes us to that next chapter." "She is someone we’ve never seen before in the top two positions in the country."

The shortlist for this year's honor included President Donald Trump (who won the honor in 2016), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases leader Dr. Anthony Fauci, together with frontline health workers — who have taken the lead in delivering scientific information during the COVID-19 pandemic — and the racial justice movement, referring to protesters who became active after the killing of George Floyd.

Among Time's additional honors, seven-member South Korean pop group BTS was named Entertainer of the Year and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was named Athlete of the Year. Dr. Fauci was named the Guardian of the Year.

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg took the honor in 2019, when she was just 16. Previous winners include Pope Francis, Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, as well as a number of journalists who risk their lives to report on crucial issues, including slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.