(NewsNation Now) — Spreading gratitude to front-line workers was on the Thanksgiving day to-do list for President-elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Thursday afternoon.
Nurses at Mercy Health in Muskegon, Michigan received a video call from President-elect Joe Biden and the future first lady.
Joe and Jill called the group of intensive care unit nurses around 1 p.m. Thursday, thanking them as the unit has been hit hard with the recent surge of COVID-19 patients.
“You guys are incredible. You really, truly are,” Joe Biden told the nurses. “And you’ve got such a spike at your hospital and so much need and you’re risking your lives. We just can’t thank you enough.”
The couple asked the nurses how they were doing during the pandemic.
“We are hanging in there. It’s a struggle. It’s hard, but we’re doing it, we’re doing what we do,” nurse Amy Moore responded.
When asked what their greatest concerns were, several nurses said “staffing” and not having enough ICU nurses.
“Staffing is a big concern. Having all the protection we need is a big concern,” Moore said. “Mostly staffing.”
Though the nurses are short-staffed, they say they feel the support from the doctors they work with.
“You docs save our lives,” Joe Biden said. “You docs allow us to live and the nurses make us want to live.”
Biden also shared how important ICU nurses have been in his family’s life.
“We’ve had the experience of having the benefit of ICU nurses and unfortunately, I spent a lot of time in ICU and our son did,” Biden said. “I think you underestimate how critical you are to the mental health as well, not just the physical. Just knowing that the nurses were there for us made a gigantic, gigantic difference even when it didn’t go well.”
Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas also shared their appreciation for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Harris tweeted a video call with a nurse in Chicago, thanking her for her service.
“I wanted to see you to say Happy Thanksgiving,” said Harris in the video call. “And just for everything you do every day, I’ve been reading about you and all that you in service of so many people.”
NewsNation affiliate WOOD contributed to this report.