President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump delivered their final Christmas message on Thursday, praising the frontline health workers but failing to acknowledge the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic.
The nearly three minute video – posted to each of the Trump’s Twitter accounts -begins with President Trump telling the Christmas story from the bible, calling it the ‘greatest miracle in human history.’
It’s Melania Trump who mentions COVID but she merely refers to the ‘global pandemic’ instead of calling it by name or using President Trump’s moniker ‘the China virus.’
‘We are battling a global pandemic that has affected all of us, yet through this great challenge, we have been inspired by the kindness and courage of citizens across this country,’ she said.
The message marked the last time the Trumps will wish Americans a Merry Christmas as president and first lady. President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden posted a holiday message from the dogs Champ and Major on Twitter Thursday.
The incoming president also tweeted a reminder to Americans to wear masks and limit the size of gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID during the holidays. And Biden released a video of himself reading a letter to a woman who lost her mother to acknowledge those going through tough times this year.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump delivered their final Christmas message
In it, the Trumps offered praise to the frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic and praising the ‘miracle’ vaccine – but failing to acknowledge the death toll from COVID
In the Trumps’ message, Melania thanked those people who showed acts of kindness and praised front line workers, medical staff, and the scientists who developed the COVID vaccine.
President Trump, Melania Trump and their son Barron all tested positive for the coronavirus in October. None have received the COVID vaccine and it has not been announced when they will.
Trump also praised the coronavirus vaccine, saying it will save ‘millions and millions of lives.’ Over one million Americans have already received the first dose of the vaccine.
‘We are grateful for all of the scientists, researchers, manufacturing workers and service members who have worked tirelessly to make this breakthrough possible. It is truly a Christmas miracle,’ he said.
THE TRUMPS FINAL CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
MELANIA: The president and I want to wish every American a very Merry Christmas.
DONALD: During the sacred season Christians celebrate the greatest miracle in human history. More than 2,000 years ago God sent his only begotten son to be with us. An angel announced the birth of our Lord and savior to humble shepherds, he said I’ll bring you good news that will cause great joy for all of the people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you. He is the messiah, the lord, you will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger. At Christmas we thank God for sending us his son to bring peace to our souls and joy to the world.
MELANIA: As you know, this Christmas is different than years’ past. We are battling a global pandemic that has affected all of us, yet through this great challenge, we have been inspired by the kindness and courage of citizens across this country.
Teachers have worked extra ordinary hard to keep our children learning. Students have delivered groceries to elderly neighbors. Communities have found new ways to stay connected to one another. Courageous first responders, doctors and nurses have given everything to save lives. Brilliant scientists have developed treatments and vaccines.
DONALD: We are delivering millions of doses of a safe and effective vaccine that will soon end this terrible pandemic and save millions and millions of lives. We are grateful for all of the scientists, researchers, manufacturing workers and service members who have worked tirelessly to make this breakthrough possible. It is truly a Christmas miracle.
MELANIA: During this wonderful time of year we also give thanks for the brave and selfless Americans who keep us safe. We are forever grateful for the men and women of law enforcement and the heroes of the United States military.
DONALD: In this holy season we thank God for his infinite love and we pray that the light of his glory will forever shine on this magnificent land. On behalf of Melania and the entire Trump family we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Neither member of the first family acknowledged the increasing death toll from the virus. More than 3,000 Americans a day are dying and the death toll stands at more than 326,000 and counting.
At least 3,359 Americans died on Wednesday, marking the third deadliest day of the pandemic so far.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus hit a record 119,463 and there were 228,131 new infections recorded.
Dr Anthony Fauci told The New York Times it could take up to 90 percent herd immunity across the United States to end the COVID-19 pandemic as three mutant strains of the virus are discovered and the CDC predicts up to 420K deaths by mid-January.
Fauci is one of many health care workers who has been vaccinated. He received his earlier this week live on television.
The Trumps closed their Christmas message by thanking U.S. troops for their service and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The video was recorded at the White House but it’s unclear when. The Trumps left for Florida on Wednesday night where they will spend the holiday season with other members of the family at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Palm Beach referred to as the Winter White House.
President Trump spent his first full day at Mar-a-Lago at his golf course after the White House added a bizarre note to his Thursday schedule, writing he is working hard for the American people with ‘many meetings and calls.’
Trump arrived at his golf course shortly after 10 am and returned to his Winter White House shortly before 2 pm, where White House officials called a ‘lid,’ indicating he is in for the rest of the day.
That indicates the Trumps will not attend church on Christmas Eve, which they usually do.
Many churches are having online services because of the coronavirus pandemic and Palm Beach County requires masks to be worn inside when social distancing is not possible.
CNN cameras captured the president on the course at his Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach on Thursday.
There were no public events listed on Trump’s schedule – which has been typical since Election Day – but there was a footnote on Thursday’s edition saying the president is at work despite starting his day at his Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach and as Washington D.C. in crisis mode as it faces a government shutdown.
‘As the Holiday season approaches, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls,’ read the note at the bottom of Thursday’s schedule.
It was an unusual addition and was in bold-faced type, making it stand out. And it was unusual in the sense that it’s expected the president’s public schedule does not reflect all he does in one day, given that many of his meetings and briefings are private.
‘First Lady Melania Trump, as is her tradition each year, will work with NORAD to track Santa with children around the country as he travels around the world delivering presents,’ Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff for East Wing, told DailyMail.com in a statement.
It’s unclear if President Trump will join her in the calls, which are made on Christmas Eve as children track Santa’s journey while they wait for their presents.
It is not listed on the president’s public schedule for Thursday. The document did note President Trump was making phone calls but didn’t say if the NORAD Santa Tracker was on the call sheet.
President Trump returns to Mar-a-Lago from spending part of Thursday at his golf course
CNN cameras captured President Trump playing golf at his West Palm Beach course Thursday
The White House said President Trump would spend Thursday in ‘many meetings and calls’
First lady Melania Trump will call into NORAD’s Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve from the Trumps’ home in Mar-a-Lago
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who received the COVID vaccine earlier this week, warned that it could take up to 90 percent herd immunity across the United States to end the COVID-19 pandemic
The Trumps arrived in Palm Beach on Wednesday evening where they will spend the holiday at Mar-a-Lago with family members
The first lady called into the tracker from Mar-a-Lago last year to check in with the children. Photos from the event were posted to her social media.
President Trump hasn’t participated in the tradition since 2018 when he risked blowing the Christmas magic for one seven year old with his question: ‘Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?’
The Secret Service also got into the Christmas spirit this year, announcing they were giving Santa – who they gave the code name ‘Big Red’ – a special security detail.
‘BREAKING NEWS: On Monday, December 21st, 2020, the Director of the U.S. Secret Service announced the activation of protection for visiting dignitary Mr. S. Claus, codename Big Red,’ the agency tweeted.
Meanwhile, President Trump left behind a Christmas chaos in Washington D.C. with his arrival in Florida after he vetoed the must-pass defense bill that funds the Pentagon and includes a pay raise for the troops. Congress is expected to override his veto next week.
Trump also hinted he could veto a $9 billion legislative package that funds the government and provides COVID relief to Americans hurt economically by the pandemic.
If he doesn’t sign it, the government shuts down at midnight on Monday.
Congress sent the bill to the president at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, putting it on a plane to get to him for his signature.
The president demanded a $2,000 relief check for Americans instead of the $600 one in the legislation. His move shocked both parties on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress had negotiated the deal with the administration – Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was lead for the Trump Team – and both chambers of Congress had passed the package.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s bluff and moved to pass a measure for the $2,000 checks in the House on Thursday morning. But House Republicans snuffed out the move – failing to accept the offer in a rare Christmas Eve session and forcing the proposal to get shelved on a parliamentary procedure.
Pelosi plans to try again on Monday.
The president left cold, dark Washington and arrived to thousands of supporters to cheer him in sunny Florida.
As his motorcade made its way from the Palm Beach International Airport Wednesday evening, people lined the route, waving signs and cheering him on. Trump waved to them in return.
They waved their Trump flags and chanted ‘Four more years!’
One small boy had a sign that said ‘We’re going to miss you.’