The President-elect urged citizens not to gather in large groups to increase the risk of infection.

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, congratulated the country on Thanksgiving while recalling how much grief the coronavirus pandemic has brought to many Americans.

“This Thanksgiving, there will be empty chairs around family tables all over the country,” Biden wrote in an article for CNN published Thursday morning. “But our family, like all of you, was determined to adhere to our most important tradition: to find the time to list the many reasons for gratitude.”

As of Thursday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, there were more than 12 780 000 cases and more than 262 000 deaths from COVID-19.

Despite warnings from health authorities, millions of Americans travel across the country to spend vacations with their families. Experts expect an increase in the incidence, which this month has already reached a record level.

On Wednesday, Biden called on Americans to build resilience in the fight against the pandemic but assured that “America will not lose this war.”

Addressing fellow citizens on the eve of Thanksgiving, the President-elect added: “There is hope, be strong. It’s not permanent.”

He said that the first coronavirus vaccines could be available by the end of December and promised to “vaccinate the entire country as soon as possible.”

Biden urged Americans to limit the festivities, noting that he himself is used to large family gatherings on Thanksgiving. But this year, he will spend the holiday in a small circle – with the future first lady, their daughter Ashley and her husband Howard crane.