In a speech on Thanksgiving Eve on Wednesday, Joe Biden He relied on historical hardships and personal loss to make an emotional appeal for resilience, asking Americans to endure a national holiday amid travel restrictions and gatherings imposed to combat the pandemic.
More than 12.6 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded registered In the United States, more than 260,000 people have died. Vaccines imminent But hospital admissions and deaths are on the rise, straining infrastructure to a breaking point as leaders warn of an impending disaster.
His speech was a signal of loneliness. “We have to remember that we are at war with the virus, not with each other,” said Biden from Wilmington, Delaware, where he continues his transitional work before his inauguration as the 46th president in Washington on January 20.
The tone was in marked contrast to the speeches of Donald Trump, who announced shortly after Biden spoke in a tweet that he Give a full pardon to me Michael FlynnHis first national security adviser Admission of guilt To lie to the FBI about contacts with a Russian official.
While Trump allowed Biden’s transition to move forward, he did not acknowledge defeat or stop making unfounded allegations of election fraud. The president on Wednesday canceled a trip to Gettysburg intended to support efforts to reverse his defeat in Pennsylvania, after at least two of his aides to attorney Rudy Giuliani. It was tested positive For Covid-19. Instead, Trump addressed Republicans in the state remotely, claiming: “The Democrats lost this election. They were cheated. It was a rigged election.”
On the national stage, these words increasingly sound like ambient noises. In Wilmington, from a podium decorated with “The Office of the President-Elect” against a converging golden background, Biden opened with a quote from a painting in Gulf Mills, Pennsylvania, to commemorate December 18, 1777, The first official Thanksgiving, celebrated in the midst of the war with Britain.
Echoing earlier speeches by historian John Meacham, Biden said that George Washington’s army celebrated the day “under extremely harsh conditions and deprivation.”
“Because of the lack of food, clothing, and shelter, they were preparing to ride a long, harsh winter … Despite the suffering, they showed reverence and a character that was shaping the nation’s soul. Faith, courage, sacrifice, service for the country, serving one another and gratitude, even in the face of suffering, were for a long time a part of what it meant Thanksgiving in America. “
After nearly 250 years, families across America are preparing for a vacation with loved ones far away or missing altogether. Moving from epic to character, Biden recalls his family’s first Thanksgiving Day to Don his wife, Nilia Hunter Biden, and young daughter Naomi, who were killed in a car crash in 1972.
He said, “I know this time of year can be especially difficult.” “Trust me, I know. I remember the first Thanksgiving. The empty chair, the silence that holds your breath. It’s really hard to pay attention. It’s hard to give thanks … so hard to hope you understand.”
“I will think and pray for each of you this Thanksgiving.”
In a year marked by bitter partisan divisions, the president-elect also welcomed the “simply extraordinary” turnout and said, “Let’s be thankful for democracy itself. Our democracy was tested this year, and what we have learned is this. The people of America are up to the task.”
Biden is the first presidential candidate to receive more than 80 million votes. But Trump was only six meters late.
From pain comes endurance. From frustration comes progress. Biden said, “out of division and unity.”
His words also struck a contrast with Trump’s actions. The president won one electoral suit in a charming state – But he lost 36. Regardless, he continues Solicit donations To take advantage of future political moves, including the possibility of operating the White House in 2024.
However, within 56 days, Biden will replace Trump in office. He has unveiled his nominations for Key positions in foreign policy and national security It is said that he will appoint his economic team on December 2. From Monday, he will Receive The President’s Daily Intelligence Briefing.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress prepare Biden to abandon Trump’s every-country approach to fighting the pandemic and build a national strategy instead. Democrats believe Biden’s plan should include elements of the House of Representatives’ $ 2 trillion coronavirus aid bill that aims to revive the US economy. Republicans resisted the big spending but agree on the need for new funding.
Biden must also plan to vaccinate hundreds of millions.
In an interview with NBC on Tuesday, he said: “The [Trump] The administration has prepared a post [of] How do they think it should happen, what will be available when and how. And we’ll look at that. And we might change that, we might keep the exact same scheme. But that’s on the train now. We haven’t got this summary yet. “
Last week, some lawmakers expressed outrage at the lack of federal coordination with Biden. On Tuesday, Health Minister Alex Azar said his ministry “immediately” began working with the president-elect after the General Services Department approved the election result. It did so on Monday, more than two weeks after the race was called up.
Biden told NBC that he believes the vaccine distribution should focus “on doctors and nurses and those who are the first responders. I think we should also focus on being able to open schools as quickly as possible. I think this can be done safely … Now,” Perhaps, we hope that we will actually start distributing it, and this administration can start distributing it before we take the oath to take over. “
In his speech in Wilmington on Wednesday, Biden praised “record-breaking progress in developing a vaccine” and said the United States is “on track to start the first vaccinations by late December, early January.”
“We will need to put in place a distribution plan to immunize the entire country as quickly as possible, which we will do. It will take time. Hopefully the vaccine news will act as an incentive for every American to take simple steps to control the virus.”
Biden listed these steps, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and more.
“There is real hope,” he said. “Tangible hope.”