Joe and Jill Biden launched 2021 on an inauspicious note. The couple failed to detonate a confetti cannon on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special Thursday night.
Confetti Cannon a Dud
The Bidens appeared on the program from their house with Christmas decorations in the background, The Daily Mail reports. They spoke to host Ryan Seacrest about vaccination efforts and offered words of encouragement to essential workers, including healthcare workers.
“They did so much, they risked their lives. They’ve done so much for us, and we owe them, we owe them, we owe them,” Biden said.
“And we’re so grateful for everything they did,” Jill Biden added. “You know, they left their families and their homes so that we could be safe.”
Both Bidens urged Americans to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available “so we all can be safe.”
“Oh, you have to take it and it doesn’t hurt I promise!” Jill Biden said. “Everybody has to take it so that we all can be safe.”
Joe Biden also called for “a better way” to get more vaccine out there more quickly.
“I’m more optimistic about America’s chances than I’ve ever been,” Biden said. “I am absolutely positive, confident, that we’re going to come back and come back stronger than we were before.”
Times Square Deserted
The Bidens said New Year’s is usually pretty quiet at their house in recent years. But they try to stay up until midnight to ring in the new year.
The interview aired on ABC, with Seacrest broadcasting from a mostly deserted Times Square in New York City.
This year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and police officials warned New Yorkers and visitors to steer clear of the square, according to Reuters. Police barricaded the area to keep people from crowding into the square and spreading the coronavirus.
A small group of invited guests, such as a few dozen front line workers, gathered there instead of the traditional crowds. They wore masks and socially distanced as they watched live performances by Gloria Gaynor and Jennifer Lopez.