Bidens send holiday message, acknowledge ‘difficult year’

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President-elect Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden offered a message of comfort in their Christmas greeting released Friday, acknowledging the ongoing coronavirus crisis and calling on Americans to care for one another.

“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,” Biden said in the video shared on Twitter.

“We’re reminded in this season of hope our common humanity and what we’re called to do for one another. Many of our fellow Americans are struggling to find work, literally put food on the table and pay their rent or their mortgage,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Jill Biden acknowledged that many families would be facing their first Christmas without a loved one and said they were familiar with that pain.

“Joe and I know that sorrow and we know how, in times of grief, a kind word can mean so much,” she said.

In the two-minute message, the incoming first couple also thanked first responders and essential workers, scientists who had worked to develop a vaccine, and military service members.

The couple revealed they would be spending the family without the dozens of relatives they normally host for Christmas Eve dinner and called on other Americans to do the same to stop the spread of infection.

“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,” he went on.

Public health officials have warned Americans not to travel or gather in large groups amid a spike in cases across the US, but some have not heeded their own advice.

In their own Christmas message, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff lamented the fact they wouldn’t be able to have their “famous brunch.”

“It’s going to be a much smaller situation,” Harris said, “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.”

On Thursday, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump also released their Christmas message, calling the COVID-19 vaccine a “Christmas miracle.”

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