Biden offers a message of unity on Thanksgiving Eve as Trump airs grievances and spreads conspiracy theories

John Haltiwanger
Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden delivers a pre-Thanksgiving address at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, November 25, 2020. Joshua Roberts/Reuters
  • President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden offered decidedly different messages to the country on Thanksgiving Eve. 

  • Trump joined a GOP hearing in Gettysburg via speakerphone, calling for the 2020 election results to be overturned.

  • Meanwhile, Biden called for unity in the fight against COVID-19.

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President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump offered starkly different messages to the country on Thanksgiving Eve. 

As Biden called for unity in the fight against COVID-19, Trump continued to spread baseless claims of voter fraud and called for the 2020 election results to be overturned. 

"I know the country has grown weary of the fight, but we need to remember we're at a war with a virus — not with each other," Biden said in his Thanksgiving address from Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. "This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts, and recommit ourselves to the fight. Let's remember — we are all in this together."

Biden called on people to carefully consider their decisions surrounding the holidays to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed over 261,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"We all have a role to play in beating this crisis. The federal government has vast powers to combat this virus. And I commit to you I will use all those powers to lead a national coordinated response. But the federal government can't do it alone," Biden said. 

"Each of us has a responsibility in our own lives to do what we can to slow the virus. Every decision we make matters. Every decision we make can save a life," he added.

Meanwhile, Trump joined a GOP hearing at a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, hotel by phone to air grievances, float debunked conspiracy theories about dead people voting, and call the election a "disgrace."

"We have to turn the election over," the president said via speakerphone, with his campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis holding the phone close to the microphone. 

Ellis was seated next to Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who along with the president has repeatedly pushed the unfounded notion that Biden won the 2020 presidential election due to mass voter fraud. 

"I think we may have actually won Virginia," Giuliani said on Wednesday, with no evidence to back up the claim. Biden defeated Trump in Virginia by over 450,000 votes, per Decision Desk HQ.

The Trump campaign and Republicans have pursued nearly two dozen legal challenges over the election results, including in Pennsylvania, and haven't won a single case. Biden defeated Trump in the battleground state, which officially certified the result on Tuesday. 

Out of 22 election-related cases, the Trump campaign and GOP officials have withdrawn or lost in 19. They have three cases pending.

The Trump administration on Monday formally authorized the transition process for Biden. But the president refuses to concede despite growing calls from Republicans for Trump to acknowledge the result and move on. Trump's critics have accused the president and his allies of attempting a coup.  

Trump was originally scheduled to attend the Gettysburg hearing in person on Wednesday, but cancelled after a campaign advisor tested positive for COVID-19. The virus, which the president contracted last month, has spiraled out of control in the US under Trump's watch. The president has repeatedly spread false information on COVID-19 and downplayed the threat while often embellishing his efforts to thwart the virus. There have been over 12.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US, more than any other country in the world. 

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