White House Thanksgiving Proclamation Calls on Americans to “Gather” Even When Covid-19 Booms

The last line of the proclamation, issued by the White House Press Office on Wednesday night, reads, “I urge all Americans to gather in homes and places of worship to offer prayers to God for our many blessings.”

Public health experts warn that Thanksgiving can be “the mother of any super-scattering event”. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends traveling at Thanksgiving to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further.

Cases of coronavirus are on the rise, and public health officials are warning that family reunions, such as Thanksgiving, which are often inside and generate several generations, can put people at risk at risk.

More than 261,000 people died in Covid-19 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 12.7 million people have been diagnosed with the virus, and the United States has set several new daily records of hospitalizations.

Although ceremonial presidential proclamations are usually speeches issued by the White House, from time to time they embrace the political tone of the administration or current events. This year’s proclamation also included sections dealing with the treatment of the coronavirus epidemic.

Trump often ignored public health warnings and hosted large groups in the White House over events that were later considered super-distributors, including the celebration of Amy Coney Barrett’s new Supreme Court justice, after which the president gave a positive result on the coronavirus.

And despite public health officials, including the U.S. chief physician, warning not to hold large gatherings, many of the events at this year’s public and private celebrations of the White House are still going to be smaller.
First lady Melania Trump on Monday oversaw the arrival of the White House Christmas tree without masks, posing at one point with pictures of the tree farmers who had removed their own masks. And on Tuesday, an undisguised Trump gave a pardon to a turkey in the rose garden of the White House in front of a masked crowd.

The first lady’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said on Monday that the multitude of traditional white home festive parties will continue, but indoor events will require safety precautions, including smaller guest lists and mask requirements.

Invitations to the White House ceremony party on Capitol Hill have begun and have been received by Republican donors, two people said. According to sources, the invitations seemed to be every other year, with no mention of corona virus precautions. And last week, the first lady finalized guest lists for parties with friends, family, and staff, which will be held over several evenings in mid-December.

CNN’s Nikki Carvajal, Betsy Klein and Kate Bennett contributed to the report.