President Trump on Thursday hailed the successful development of COVID-19 vaccines as a “Christmas miracle” that will end the deadly pandemic.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump released a taped holiday message from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where they are spending the holiday.
Trump said the day marks “the greatest miracle in human history: More than 2,000 years ago God sent his only begotten son to be with us.”
“At Christmas, we thank God for sending us his son to bring peace to our souls and joy to the world,” the president said.
The recently approved COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and by Moderna will help restore life to normal, Trump said.
“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,” Trump said.
“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.”
Since March, the virus has infected more than 18.5 million Americans and killed more than 327,000, causing substantial economic, educational and social disruption. Distribution of vaccine doses began this month following Food and Drug Administration approval.
Trump did not directly reference a fight in Washington over a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill that passed both chambers of Congress on Monday.
Trump said Tuesday he opposes the bill’s billions in foreign aid and demanded that $600 stimulus checks be increased to $2,000. If Trump does not sign the existing bill, an estimated 12 million people will lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. The impasse could cause a partial government shutdown next week.