SPONSORED:

Biden warns Americans against traveling for Christmas

Biden warns Americans against traveling for Christmas
© Getty Images

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE on Wednesday implored Americans not to travel and gather with family during the holiday season as coronavirus cases surge across the country.

“You cannot be traveling during these holidays, as much as you want to,” Biden, speaking from Wilmington, Del., told a group of workers and small business owners during a virtual briefing.

Biden explained that, for the first time, he kept his Thanksgiving last week small, spending it with his wife and Jill and their daughter and son-in-law who live in the areas. He said they saw everyone else “on Zoom.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

“Christmas is going to be a lot harder,” Biden said. “I don’t want to scare anybody here, but understand the facts. We’re likely to lose another 250,000 people dead between now and January … because people aren’t paying attention.”

Public health officials have dissuaded Americans from traveling or gathering in large numbers during the holiday season. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said Wednesday that the U.S. could see another 200,000 coronavirus deaths in the next three months if people do not take heed of mitigation measures like mask-wearing and social distancing. The coronavirus has already infected over 13.8 million Americans and killed over 270,000. 

Biden’s warning contrasted sharply with the mixed messaging coming out of the White House, where President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpHere's how presidents move into the White House in just hours on Inauguration Day Ashley Biden says Melania Trump has not reached out to Jill Biden CNN poll: Melania Trump leaving office as least popular first lady ever MORE are continuing to host indoor holiday parties despite the coronavirus pandemic. Trump, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 himself in October, has regularly minimized the danger of the virus. Trump’s former campaign manager Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE said Tuesday that he believed Trump’s lack of public empathy on the virus cost him the election.

Biden has made the coronavirus a central focus of his election campaign and now his preparations to take office in January.

During the virtual roundtable on Wednesday, Biden spoke with four Americans – a school crossing guard, restaurant group owner, arena server and stage hand – to receive input on their financial struggles as his transition team develops a plan to address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden urged Congress to come together and pass a bipartisan relief measure during the lame duck period and said he would unveil a relief proposal upon taking office.

“I don’t want you giving up hope,” Biden told the participants. “We’re going to get through this.” 

“It’s going to be hard as hell the next 50 to 70 days unless the House acts in some way, the Senate acts,” Biden continued.