Joe Biden is urging Americans to stay home and limit their holiday travel this year amid a surge in the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Biden, who has been declared president-elect by many media outlets, made the remarks on Wednesday during a virtual roundtable with workers impacted by the virus. The former vice president, in particular, spent a portion of the event telling those in attendance that despite there being promising news about a vaccine, it is important to remain cautious for the time being.
“I hope you are listening because, as with all the trouble you’re going through, you can not be traveling during these holidays,” Biden said. “As much as you want.”
Noting the impact such restrictions have placed on his own large family, the former vice president urged individuals to limit their risk of exposure whenever possible.
“For the first time, we had a Thanksgiving with my wife and myself, my daughter … and her husband, who’s a doctor in the region, that’s it,” Biden said. “All my other kids, everyone else in the family was on Zoom on Thanksgiving.”
Claiming that “Christmas is going to be a lot harder,” Biden said such sacrifices are the only way to ensure the virus does not spread even further before a vaccine can be provided to every citizen.
“I don’t want to scare anybody, but understand the facts,” Biden said. “We’re likely to lose another 250,000 people, dead, between now and January … because people aren’t paying attention.”
“There are ways that we have to bring down the virus … bring down the replication rate of it,” the former vice president added.
Biden’s request that individuals limit their travels during the holiday season comes as elected officials and public health experts across the country are doing the same. Such calls, though, have not been without controversy, especially as some Democratic politicians have been caught violating their own stay at home orders.
On Wednesday, in particular, a local news outlet made national headlines after it reported that the mayor of Austin, Texas, had recorded a video urging his city’s residents to “stay home” while vacationing in Mexico. The mayor quickly issued an apology for his actions.
Adler’s imbroglio is only the most recent in a wave of such incidents. Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) became the subject of widespread rebuke after it emerged that he had violated his own coronavirus restrictions to attend a birthday dinner for a lobbyist.