Biden, Harris release Christmas greetings, call for continuing COVID-19 precautions

Biden, Harris release Christmas greetings, call for continuing COVID-19 precautions

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCarville advises Democrats to 'quit being a whiny party' Wendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Sullivan: 'It's too soon to tell' if Texas synagogue hostage situation part of broader extremist threat MORE and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSecond gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House Harris takes fresh start to 2022 We are America's independent contractors, and we are terrified MORE released Christmas greetings on Friday and called for Americans to continue practicing coronavirus safety precautions and avoid large gatherings. 

“Jill and I wish you and your family peace, joy, health and happiness this season. But we know for so many of you in our nation this has been a very difficult year, and we’re reminded in this season of hope our common humanity and what we’re called to do for one another," Biden said in a video on Twitter. "Many of our fellow Americans are struggling to find work, literally put food on the table and pay their rent or their mortgage."

“We’re reminded we’re on this earth to care for one another, to give what we can and to be a source of help and hope to friend and stranger alike,” the president-elect added.

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Jill Biden, who will become first lady next month after Joe Biden's inauguration, added in the Friday video that “Many families are facing their first Christmas having lost a loved one. And Joe and I know that sorrow. And we know how, in times of grief, a kind word can mean so much.”

Joe Biden added that their family usually hosts as many as 25 people on Christmas Eve, but they canceled the tradition this year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to miss our family, but it’s what we need to do to keep our family safe,” he said. “We hope you’ll consider limiting travel and the size of family gatherings as well this year.” 

The couple also thanked service members, front-line and essential workers and COVID-19 vaccine researchers.  

Harris said in a separate Friday video that “I know this is a very different Christmas than we’re used to. But it a time to still greet each other, to see each other, and to celebrate each other."  

Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, said their family traditionally holds a brunch with family during Christmas.

“It’s going to be a much smaller situation, and I think about all of the families who also are going to have, like Joe says, an empty chair at the table because of someone they’ve lost,” Harris said, with the couple also thanking front-line workers and military service members.

“We’re going to get through this moment, and we’re going to get past this moment,” Harris said. 

Public health officials have called on Americans not to gather in large groups and to avoid traveling during the holiday season amid a spike in COVID-19 cases across the U.S.