President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump shared a Christmas Eve video message to wish all Americans a Merry Christmas and to laud the work of those who have stepped up to meet the needs of the United States amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 citizen’s across this country,” said Melania Trump, appearing in front of a Christmas tree alongside President Trump.
The first lady specifically lauded the work of first responders, doctors, and nurses, as well as scientists and researchers for their work dedication to developing a COVID-19 vaccine within the year.
“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,” said President Trump, under whom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has overseen the distribution of nearly 10 million vaccines as of Wednesday morning. “We’re 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,” said the president of the vaccine development and distribution, later adding: “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.”
The First Lady said that she and the president were offering their “warmest wishes” to everyone as they celebrate Christmas with their families. “May the love we share with our family & friends fill our hearts with peace & joy,” she said.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 24, 2020
According to The Wall Street Journal, the president offered all employees of the executive branch Christmas Eve as a full holiday, following a tradition he established three years ago. In the past, former presidents have given half days for Christmas Eve when Christmas fell on a Friday, or full days off when Christmas fell near a weekend.
Congressional leaders, however, have been working through Christmas Eve amidst the president’s displeasure with the COVID-19 stimulus-omnibus spending package, reports Roll Call. Lawmakers are likely to return next week absent Trump’s signature on the stimulus-omnibus package, which passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier this week.