Joe Biden is urging Americans to “forgo family traditions” this Thanksgiving as the novel coronavirus pandemic is resurgent across much of the United States.
The former vice president, who made tackling the coronavirus a central element of his 2020 campaign, made the remarks while delivering a Thanksgiving address on Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware. During the event, Biden called on all Americans to take the threat posed by the virus seriously over the holidays.
“I know the country has gotten weary of the fight. We need to remember we’re at war with a virus,” the former vice president said. “This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts, and recommit ourselves to the fight.”
Preventing further spread of the virus, Biden argued, would mean also having to ignore long-held Thanksgiving traditions this year.
“This year we are asking Americans to forgo so many of the traditions that have long made this holiday,” Biden said. “That’s made it so special.”
Biden proceeded to urge everyone to limit their travel and practice social distancing to mitigate the risk of exposure. The former vice president, himself, admitted that he and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, had already taken such precautions into mind when arranging their Thanksgiving plans.
“This year, because we care so much for each other, we’re going to be having a separate Thanksgiving for Jill and I, who will be at our home in Delaware with our daughter and our son in law,” Biden said. “The rest of the family will be doing the same thing in small groups.”
“I know how hard it is to forgo family traditions,” the former vice president added. “But it is so very important. Our country’s in the middle of a dramatic spike in cases. We are now averaging 160,000 new cases a day.”
Biden’s call to “forgo” Thanksgiving traditions comes only days after the former vice president urged Americans to wear a mask and take other coronavirus precautions at least until January 2021.