WILMINGTON, Del. (NewsNation Now) — President-elect Joe Biden delivered an address on the day before Thanksgiving, highlighting the challenges Americans face this holiday as public health officials urge against travel and large gatherings.
Biden’s speech from Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday encouraged Americans and focus on the sacrifices they are making during the holiday season.
“Gratitude — even in the face of suffering — have long been part of what Thanksgiving means in America,” said Biden. “Looking back over our history you see that it’s been the most difficult circumstances that the soul of our nation has been forged. And now we find ourselves — again — facing a long, hard winter.”
It comes as the U.S. leads the world’s tally of coronavirus cases, nearing 12.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll across the country is approaching 260,000, and millions are still traveling for the holiday despite calls to stay home and not gather outside households.
Since Saturday, almost 4 million people have passed through airport screenings, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Biden plans to spend Thanksgiving at his Delaware home with a few family members. The president-elect began the formal transition process to the White House this week after receiving the official green light.
He confirmed Tuesday that his team has been able to coordinate with the Trump administration on the pandemic, vaccine distribution, and national security. Biden plans to announce his economic team and other key nominees next week, his transition team said on Wednesday.
The White House also gave the go-ahead for Biden to start receiving the president’s daily intelligence briefing.
“It’s been offered,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday. “I did not have it today. We’re going to do it on a regular basis.”
Despite his campaign’s attempts to invalidate election results, President Donald Trump signed off on his administration’s participation in the transition process this week. But he promised that his campaign would keep fighting to overturn the results.
Trump’s legal efforts have largely failed in key battleground states, most recently in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani attended a Pennsylvania Senate Committee meeting about the election in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon.
Reuters contributed to this report.