He begged Americans to follow the advice of experts and downsize their holiday gatherings, which typically feature a large number of people gathered together indoors and eating.
He said his family was relying on expert advice and were going to try to limit their gathering to five or at least no more than 10 people.
‘Jill and I spent this morning, like many of you, trying to figure out what are we going to do for Thanksgiving? How are we going to do it?,’ he said. ‘And would narrow down which family members and that they were tested, recently tested, within 24 hours.’
Joe Biden said he and wife Jill Biden would cut family members out of the Thanksgiving guest list in order to hold a smaller event in cooperation with expert recommendations
Biden didn’t specify which family members are getting the cut – above he’s seen with one of his granddaughters after he was declared president elect
The United States has seen a spike in coronavirus infections as the cold weather forces people indoors. More than 11 million Americans have been infected and numbers are expected to keep growing.
The president-elect urged Americans to follow the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts and limit their holiday plans, trying for virtual gatherings instead of in-person ones.
‘I would strongly urge for the sake — not just your sake but the sake of your children, your mother, your father, your sister and your brothers, there should be no more than ten people in one room and inside the home,’ he said.
And he urge people to wear masks.
‘Being masked saves lives,’ he said, adding: ‘I just want to be sure we are able to be together next Thanksgiving and next Christmas.’
And he seemed to get in a shot at President DonaldTrump, who has been reluctant to wear a face covering.
‘There’s nothing macho about not wearing a mask,’ he said.
Biden was asked about his holiday plans during a speech in which he discussed his way of leading the United States out of the pandemic-induced recession.
He spoke as stocks soared following drugmaker Moderna’s announcement its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective based on preliminary data. It is the second company to announced a possible cure for the virus.
‘I wouldn’t hesitate to get the vaccine but I also want to set an example,’ Biden said when asked if he’d take one once it’s approved.
And his remarks came after a new survey found nearly 40 per cent of Americans are planning to have a Thanksgiving dinner with 10 or more attendees, as 1 in 4 people say they won’t practice social distancing.
The survey, which was conducted by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, found that while a majority of respondents will take precautions for the holiday, a significant number of people will be inviting several guests.
According to the results, 38 per cent of Americans intend to invite more than 10 people to their homes on Thanksgiving or attend Thanksgiving gatherings with 10 or more people.
About 33 per cent said it wouldn’t be likely that they would require their guests to wear face masks.
Twenty-seven per cent of the participants said they would not practice social distancing, according to the poll.
Nearly 40 per cent of Americans are planning to have a Thanksgiving dinner with 10 or more attendees
Seventy-nine per cent of the respondents said they are very likely or somewhat likely to celebrate with household members only
About 33 per cent said it wouldn’t be likely that they would require their guests to wear face masks
About 73 per cent of the respondents said they would practice social distancing during the holidays and 79 per cent said they would only gather with those in their household.
Additionally, 80 per cent of participants said they would ask family and friends not to come if they experienced symptoms of the virus.
The U.S. is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases and recently reported 11 million cases across the country.
Colder weather is forcing gatherings indoors, where the virus can more easily spread, but health officials are cautioning against large family gatherings, especially during the holidays.
Dr Iahn Gonsenhauser, the chief quality and patient safety officer at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said: ‘When you’re gathered together around the table, engaged in conversation, sitting less than six feet apart with your masks down, even in a small group, that’s when the spread of this virus can really happen.’
Gonsenhauser says the safest solution is the one that people don’t want to hear: find ways to communicate virtually and cancel in-person plans.
‘If you have someone in your household who’s high risk and you’re in a low incidence area, you’re going to want to think twice about having a celebration where people are coming from an area where there’s a lot of virus in the community,’ Gonsenhauser said.
And while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance for Americans to follow during gatherings, the agency has not recommended a limitation for holiday celebrations.
As of Sunday, Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker has reached 11 million after topping 10 million cases on November 9 – with the most recent million coming in just six days
Health experts have warned Americans not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday as cases surpass 11 million
The CDC has warned that even ‘small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases’.
The agency recommends getting a flu shot, hosting small gatherings outside, wearing a mask and staying out of tight spaces like kitchens.