President-elect Joe Biden, on Thanksgiving Day, urged Americans to resist surrendering to the “fatigue” of the coronavirus pandemic and asked citizens to unite to defeat the virus. He also echoed calls of public health officials and asked the nation to scale down their Thanksgiving celebrations.
“I know the country has grown weary of the fight, but we need to remember we're at war with a virus — not with each other,” he said.
“We all have a role to play in beating this crisis. The federal government has vast powers to combat this virus. And I commit to you I will use all those powers to lead a national coordinated response,” he added. “But the federal government can't do it alone. Each of us has a responsibility in our own lives to do what we can to slow the virus. Every decision we make matters. Every decision we make can save a life”.
The incumbent president Donald Trump in the meantime, called for supporters to overturn election results. China’s President Xi Jinping, on Wednesday, called Biden to congratulate him on winning the elections. A spike in coronavirus cases has led public health officials to urge Americans to limit their holiday gatherings to mitigate the spread of the virus.
According to data from John Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US is nearing 12.7 million, and the death toll surpassed 261,000.
Biden in his message talked of heavy losses American families suffered due to the pandemic. “The empty chair, the silence. It takes your breath away,” he said. “It's hard to care. It's hard to give thanks. It's hard to look forward. And it's so hard to hope. I understand. I will be thinking and praying for each and every one of you at our Thanksgiving table because we've been there”.
He further noted how the pandemic had “divided us, angered us, and set us against one another,” and acknowledged the nation is facing a “long, hard winter.”
Biden also rejected the politicisation of measures like mask-wearing and said that guidelines from public health experts were based on science.