USA

Bidens write op-ed celebrating smaller Thanksgiving amid pandemic

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, wrote an op-ed on Thursday celebrating Thanksgiving and sympathizing with families who remain separated over the holiday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This year, our turkey will be smaller and the clatter of cooking a little quieter. There will be no family walks in the cold or playful bickering amongst the grandkids. Like millions of Americans, we are temporarily letting go of the traditions we can't do safely," the Bidens wrote in an op-ed for CNN. "It is not a small sacrifice. These moments with our loved ones — time that's lost — can't be returned. Yet, we know it's the price of protecting each other and one we don't pay alone. Isolated in our own dining rooms and kitchens, scattered from coast to coast, we are healing together."

The Bidens' holiday message comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans not travel for the holiday. However, millions are sticking to their Thanksgiving travel plans despite the recommendations urging them to stay home.

Nearly six million passengers have been screened at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints since Friday. Wednesday was the busiest day at airport checkpoints since March 16, and AAA expects up to 50 million Americans to travel.

"I'm very concerned about the number of people who are traveling. This is a recipe for disaster," CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook said.

Nearly 13 million Americans have contracted the virus and over 262,000 have died from it, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In a Thanksgiving address on Wednesday, Mr. Biden urged Americans to resist surrendering to the "fatigue" of the pandemic and come together with the shared goal of defeating the virus, echoing the calls of public health officials for 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. "This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts, and recommit ourselves to the fight. Let's remember — we are all in this together."

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