Donald Trump Thanksgiving Proclamation Encourages Americans to ‘Gather with Family and Friends’

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden had wildly different takes on how Americans should celebrate Thanksgiving during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump issued his White House annual Thanksgiving proclamation Thursday. In it, he encourages Americans to “gather with family and friends.” On the other hand, Biden asked families to sacrifice and stay home.

“I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings,” he wrote.

Medical Professionals, Joe Biden Share Different Message

This is in direct opposition to advice from many medical professionals. The Centers for Disease Control has recommended people stay home this Thanksgiving. America continues to break records daily in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths from the virus, The Atlantic reports. Some states even considered banning holiday travel, though none actually did. Several issued stern warnings against the practice this year, however. Some states have also banned large indoor gatherings.

More than 262,000 Americans have died from the virus since the pandemic began, Johns Hopkins University said. Nearly 13 million in the country have contracted it. The U.S. leads the world in both categories.

And Thanksgiving travel could be the “mother of all super-spreader events,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a former White House medical team adviser, warned on CNN.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Americans should stay put this holiday season.

“I don’t want to be the Grinch that stole Thanksgiving, but what we are learning, sadly now, is that a lot of the new infections are occurring [in homes],” he told GBH News, according to Newsweek.

Furthermore, he said the more you go out the more you’re at risk.

“It is extraordinarily likely in some locations where the percent positivity is so high that an innocent, well-appearing person in that little congregation you are having over the house for a social setting is infected,” Fauci said.

Joe Biden Asks Families to Stay Home This Thanksgiving

In a letter to CNN, Biden writes staying home and away from family and friends is necessary, if unpleasant.

“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,” he wrote.

“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.

In a Twitter video, Biden said the sacrifices today would mean fewer later.

“I know this isn’t the way many of us hoped we’d spend our holiday,” Biden said. “We know a small act of staying home is a gift to our fellow Americans. Yes, it’s a personal sacrifice that each of our families can make and should make to save somebody else’s life. But it’s also a shared sacrifice for the whole country. A statement about common purpose that says we care about one another. And we’re all in this together.”

Both Trump and Biden thanked the medical workers and front-line efforts to curtail the virus.

There are promising results on a vaccine for the virus, but it will likely be months before one reaches the general population, Forbes wrote.