President-elect Joe Biden called for Americans to unite ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday as coronavirus cases surge.
“I know the country has grown weary of the fight, but we need to remember, we’re at war with a virus, not with one another. Not with each other,” Biden said in his Thanksgiving address from Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday.
Biden described the U.S. as “a nation not of adversaries but of neighbors,” calling on Americans to love each other.
“Love of country, love of one another. We don’t talk much about love in our politics,” the president-elect said. “The political arena is too loud, too angry, too heated. To love our neighbor as ourselves is a radical act. Yet it’s what we’re called to do.”
Biden also implored Americans to be vigilant in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus, warning of the “long, hard winter” ahead.
“This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts, and recommit ourselves to the fight,” he said.
The U.S. reported nearly 2,100 coronavirus related deaths on Tuesday, marking the pandemic’s deadliest day in the country since May.
Biden acknowledged the frustration many are feeling as public health officials urge Americans to avoid travel and gatherings for the Thanksgiving holiday, but noted the breakthroughs around a future coronavirus vaccine.
“There is real hope, tangible hope. So hang on. Don’t let yourself surrender to the fatigue,” he said. “I know we can and we will beat this virus. America is not going to lose this war. You will get your lives back. Life is going to return to normal. That will happen. This will not last forever.”
ADVERTISEMENTBiden said his own family was doing a scaled down Thanksgiving this year, saying his extended family will be gathering separately. The president-elect said he will spend the holiday with his wife, Jill Biden, along with their daughter and son-in-law in Delaware.
Biden’s remarks stood in stark contrast with those from President Trump just moments before. Trump called in to a Pennsylvania legislative hearing on the 2020 election on Wednesday to accuse Democrats of cheating.
“It was a fraudulent election,” Trump said, echoing his previous claims of voter fraud, despite there being no evidence that widespread voter fraud took place.
Biden, on the other hand, praised the record turnout in the election earlier this month.“What should we give thanks for this season? Well, first, let’s be thankful for democracy itself,” he said. “In this election year, we have seen record numbers of Americans exercise their most sacred right, that of the vote, to register their will at the ballot box.
“Think about that. In the middle of a pandemic, more people voted this year than have ever voted in the history of America,” he said.
The General Services Administration “ascertained” Biden as the winner in the general election on Monday, allowing Biden to meet with government officials and view classified information.