President Donald Trump urged Americans to 'gather' together this Thanksgiving as President-elect Joe Biden advised people to stay home, acknowledging the sacrifice and pain of not being able to be with one's family.
Both men are planning low-key Thanksgivings at their respective homes as coronavirus cases surge across the United States.
Trump is spending the holiday at the White House after canceling plans to travel to Mar-a-Lago, his residence in Palm Beach, Fla., where he typically spends Thanksgiving with his family, including his adult children from his previous marriages.
In his Thanksgiving proclamation, he encouraged Americans to gather and give thanks.
'I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings,' he said in a statement.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Joe and Jill Biden are spending the holiday at their vacation home in Rehoboth, Delaware
Biden is spending the holiday his vacation home in Rehoboth, Delaware. He and his wife Jill are hosting their daughter Ashley Biden and her husband Dr. Howard Krein for Thanksgiving dinner for a scaled-back holiday.
The Bidens usually spend the long weekend on Nantucket - where they dine on lobster and turkey - with their extended family: a four decade tradition.
The family skipped that trip in 2015, the year their son Beau died of brain cancer, the president-elect noted in a Thanksgiving speech on Wednesday.
'This year, we're asking Americans to forego many of the traditions that have long made this holiday such a special one,' Biden said in his remarks. 'For our family, we've had a 40 plus year tradition of traveling over Thanksgiving, a tradition we've kept every year save one - the year after our son Beau died.'
'But this year, we'll be staying home,' Biden said.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Biden's plea for Americans to hold small gatherings came as daily deaths from COVID-19 in the United States have surpassed 2,100 for the first since May as millions of Americans continue to ignore CDC travel guidance and dire warnings from health experts that Thanksgiving could be the 'mother of all superspreader events'.
He also alluded to people's suffering in his presidential-style address to a nation, which came as more than 260,000 Americans died of the coronavirus.
'I remember that first Thanksgiving, the empty chair, the silence,' Biden said. 'It takes your breath away. It's really hard to care. It's hard to give thanks.'
And, in an op-ed written for CNN, he and Jill said they recognize the sacrifice that families make when they are not able to be together in person.
'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.
'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 noted.
The Bidens also recorded a video message for the holiday that they posted online, where they reminded people the importance of staying home and expressing gratitude for healthcare workers.
'The small act of staying home is a gift to all Americans,' Joe Biden said.
Jill Biden expressed thanks for frontline healthcare workers and American troops serving overseas.
'We’re thankful for the millions of Americans who have been working on the frontlines during the pandemic,' she said.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff are also holding a small gathering - the couple will cook Thanksgiving dinner in their Washington D.C. home for just the two of them.
THANKSGIVING GROUP: President-elect Joe Biden (center left) said he'd be spending the holiday with his wife Jill (center