In dueling Christmas messages to the nation Friday, Joe Biden commiserated with Americans who’ve lost loved ones or their livelihoods because of coronavirus — while President Trump barely made mention of the pandemic that‘s killed over 330,000 people in the U.S.
In a Twitter video with incoming First Lady Jill Biden, the president-elect urged Americans to embrace their “common humanity” and strive to be “a source of help” for others.
“We know for so many of you in our nation this has been a very difficult year,” Biden said in the video. “Many of our fellow Americans are struggling to find work, literally put food on the table, pay their rent or their mortgage.”
The soon-to-be commander-in-chief, who’s spending the holidays at his Delaware home, also urged Americans to avoid travel and large gatherings this weekend, noting that he and his wife will preclude their usually family tradition of hosting 20 to 25 people for Christmas dinner.
“This won’t be forever and brighter days are coming soon,” Jill Biden chimed in.
Trump, who’s spending the holidays at his private south Florida club, pumped out an all caps “MERRY CHRISTMAS” tweet early Friday.
Then, before he headed to his namesake Palm Beach golf course for his second round on the greens in as many days, the White House issued a statement credited to the president that was packed with religious references, but made just one vague reference to the pandemic.
“While our gatherings might look different than in years past, this Christmas, like every Christmas, is an opportunity for us to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and show our heartfelt gratitude for the abundant blessings God has bestowed upon our lives and country,” the statement read. “This year, we come together as proud Americans — grateful for our sacred right to worship freely and to openly profess our trust in the enduring light and promise of the coming of God.”
Trump’s holiday golfing and tweeting comes as an economic crisis looms because of his refusal to sign a legislative package of coronavirus relief and government spending passed by Congress earlier this week.
After ignoring stimulus negotiations on Capitol Hill for months, Trump announced Tuesday he wouldn’t sign the bipartisan package because he wants its proposed $600 stimulus checks to be bumped up to $2,000.
Republicans do not support that payment increase, leaving the stimulus progress in limbo as a Monday government shutdown deadline approaches.
After his round of Christmas golf, Trump showed little sign of budging on the stimulus check front.
“Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!” he tweeted.