Administration

Joe and Jill Biden in Thanksgiving op-ed: 'We can be apart without being alone'

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, penned an op-ed published on Thursday wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving, even if people are apart from family amid the pandemic.

The incoming first couple also thanked front-line health care workers, educators and researchers.

"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," they wrote in an op-ed published in 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 continued.

Across the country, health experts and lawmakers have continued to urge Americans to practice social distancing during the holiday season as the nation sees a surge in coronavirus cases.

In recent days, the president-elect has pushed the public to not gather in groups larger than 10 people "in one room inside the home" in an effort to mitigate the spread of the disease. He also called on the country to unite in the fight against the pandemic in comments on Wednesday.

"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," the president-elect said at the time in a Thanksgiving address.

In their Thursday op-ed, the Bidens also told Americans, despite the untraditional ways people are celebrating the holiday this year, their "family will hold on to our most important tradition: taking a moment to count the many reasons we have to be grateful."

They then thanked front-line workers, health care workers, researchers, educators and parents for their efforts amid the months-long pandemic.

"We are grateful for the American spirit of our people, who do not cower in the face of crisis and hardship but instead come together to lift up one another. ... Most of all, we are grateful for the faith and trust we have been given to continue serving this beautiful, brave, complicated nation as your future President and first lady," they said.

"This year of loss has revealed our collective strength. It has shown us that our lives are connected in ways unseen - that we can be apart without being alone," they continued.

"May the emptiness at our tables and in our hearts be filled with memories of love and laughter. May we cherish our traditions, even when they are out of reach, and hold on to the hope of what's still to come. We're going to get through this together, even if we have to be apart," they added in their closing message. "Happy Thanksgiving, from the Biden family to yours."

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