President-elect Joe Biden tried to inspire Americans to keep fighting the pandemic Wednesday night in a Thanksgiving address ahead of the holiday.

Biden began the speech by briefly remarking about the history of Thanksgiving and linking it with Americans’ need to continue fighting COVID-19.

Speaking from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said, “The first national day of Thanksgiving, authorized by the Continental Congress, took place on December 18th, 1777. It was celebrated by General George Washington and his troops at Gulph Mills on the way to Valley Forge. It took place under harsh conditions and deprivations — lacking food, clothing, shelter. They were preparing to ride out a long hard winter.”

Biden then told Americans about the historic Gulph Mills plaque, which celebrates General Washington and his troop’s struggles, “‘This Thanksgiving in spite of the suffering-showed the reverence and character that was forging the soul of a nation.'”

Biden repeated, “forging the soul of a nation,” to open up to remarks about the ongoing battle with the pandemic, comparing America’s almost one-year struggle with the virus to the harsh 1777 winter of the Continental Troops.

“I know the country’s grown weary of the fight. But we need to remember, we’re at war with the virus, not with one another. Not with each other. This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to the fight. Let’s remember: We’re all in this together,” Biden said

Biden said his Thanksgiving plans included staying at home with a close group of family, urging Americans to do the same.

“Our country is in the middle of a dramatic spike in cases. We’re now averaging over 160,000 new cases a day. And no one will be surprised if we hit 200,000 cases in a single day. Many local health systems are at risk of being overwhelmed. That is the plain and simple truth, and I believe you deserve to always hear the truth from your president,” Biden said.

He continued, “What should we give thanks for in this season? First, let us be thankful for democracy itself. In this election year, we have seen record numbers of Americans exercise their most sacred right — that of the vote — to register their will at the ballot box. In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results. The people of this nation and the laws of the land won’t stand for anything else. Through the vote — the noblest instrument of nonviolent protest ever conceived — we are reminded anew that progress is possible. That ‘We the People’ have the power to change what Jefferson called ‘the course of human events.’ That with our hearts and hands and voices, today can be better than yesterday, and tomorrow can be better still.”

 

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