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Biden Thanksgiving speech: We are at war with the virus, not each other

United States President-elect Joe Biden has called for an end to the “grim season of division”, as the country faces long and harsh winters grappling with coronavirus pandemic. In his Thanksgiving holiday speech, he said Americans were at war with virus, not each other. He appealed to people to sacrifice the holiday traditions and don’t put theirs and other lives at risk. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump urged supporters to rally behind him to overturn the outcomes of Nov 3, 2020 Presidential elections.

Speaking via phone from the WH to a Republican event of Pennsylvania state GOP lawmakers, Trump once again levelled unfounded claims about widespread electoral fraud. The President is expected to meet with the policymakers in West Wing after they earlier hosted a hearing in Gettysburg over the allegations of systemic rigging, according to two sources.

“We have to turn the election over,” he said, adding that it was “rigged”.

Trump had been expected to attend the event in person with his top lawyer Rudy Giuliani but stopped short of making an appearance later on. The move came shortly after the news broke that his personal attorney was exposed to another COVID-19 positive case.

Meanwhile, Biden who won the election comfortably both through electoral and popular vote and is currently working with the transition was congratulated by Chinese Premier Xi Jinping on Wednesday, more than 2 weeks after the announcement of his projected win.

“Promoting the healthy and stable development of China-US relations is not only in the fundamental interests of both peoples, but also meets the common expectation of the international community,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying in the message.

“I hope to see both sides uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and focus on cooperation while managing and controlling disputes,” Xi added, according to Xinhua.

However, a number of world leaders including Vladimir Putin and Andrés Manuel López Obrador are still waiting for the electoral process to end before they send congratulatory messages to the Democrat.

What did Biden say in his speech?

In his speech on Wednesday, Biden told the nation: “I believe you always deserve to hear the truth from your president. We have to slow the growth of this virus. We owe it to the doctors and the nurses and the frontline workers… We owe it to our fellow citizens.”

He said Covid-19 had “brought us pain and loss and frustration” and cost many lives.

“It’s divided us, angered us, set us against one another. I know the country’s grown weary of the fight, but we need to remember – we’re at war with the virus, not one another.

“We have to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to the fight.”

The President-elect called on Americans to scale down their traditional Thanksgiving celebrations. He urged the public to forgo the usual large gatherings and added that he would be spending the holiday with his wife, daughter and son-in-law. Millions of Americans are on roads to spend the holiday with their lived ones ignoring the guidelines and warnings issued by health experts, although numbers are low than previous years. The President-elect striking a tone of hope added that the infection would be beaten in due course.

“I know that we can and will beat this virus,” he said. “Life is going to return to normal, I promise you.

“I believe this grim season of division… is going to give way to a year of light and unity.”

The Thanksgiving holiday comes as new cases soar in United States. The country on Tuesday recorded over 2,000 COVID-19 fatalities for the first time since May. The total death toll in US has surpassed 260,000, more than another national in the world, according to the data provided by Johns Hopkins University.