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Biden appeals to Christian voters: Wear masks to 'love our neighbors as ourselves'

Biden appeals to Christian voters: Wear masks to 'love our neighbors as ourselves'
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Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE made an appeal to Christian voters on Thursday, encouraging them to wear masks to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”

Biden wrote an op-ed in the Christian Post that connects the coronavirus pandemic to the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible, in which Jesus says one of the most important commandments is to “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“To beat COVID-19, we must all work together to pull our country out of this crisis,” the former vice president wrote. “We must all wear masks. It’s not a political statement – it’s a manifestation of God’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, so we can save lives.”

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Biden countered the Trump administration’s claim that the U.S. has turned a corner in the pandemic, citing that “infections are on the rise again.” 

In the op-ed, he vowed to work with governors as president to ensure states have the resources they need and to institute mask mandates nationwide. 

“If we all work together, we can save lives and get our economy back on track more quickly for everyone – not just those at the top,” he wrote. 

The U.S. broke a single-day record in the number of cases confirmed last week and has reached a seven-day average of 75,561 new cases per day, according to The New York Times.  

The former vice president also urged voters to “root out systemic racism.”

“These injustices have been part of our society for a long time, but this pandemic has laid them bare for all of us to face,” he wrote. “We see so clearly how the burden of unemployment and exposure to this disease has fallen disproportionately on the backs of historically disadvantaged communities.”

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Biden also cited Christian beliefs to support his plans on addressing poverty and on immigration and refugee policies. 

The op-ed comes just five days before Election Day. 

More than 80 percent of white evangelical Christians backed President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center, and he continues to retain high support among that group.

The president has taken aim at Biden’s Catholic faith during the campaign, saying in August that the former vice president is “against God” and will “hurt the Bible.” Biden has repeatedly addressed Trump’s and others' assertions about his faith, calling the jabs “preposterous” in August.