Christmas greetings from President Trump and the First Lady

Trump and the first lady spoke about the meaning of Christmas, the holiday's history and values, and then paralleled those teachings to a Christmas amid the coronavirus.

Christmas decorations are hung at the White House (photo credit: MIKE THEILER/REUTERS)
Christmas decorations are hung at the White House
(photo credit: MIKE THEILER/REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump recorded a special message to wish Americans a merry Christmas.
Trump and his wife spoke about the meaning of Christmas, the holiday's history and values, and then paralleled those teachings to a Christmas amid the coronavirus.

"As you know, this Christmas is different then years past," said the First Lady. "We are battling a global pandemic that has affected all of us. Yet to this great challenge, we have been inspired by the kindness and courage of citizens across this country."
Melania cited examples of teachers working to keep children learning, students who delivered groceries, first responders, doctors and nurses who selflessly threw themselves on the frontlines of the pandemic, among others.
"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," President Trump added, with a subtle attempt to quell some skepticism about the vaccine’s efficacy and safety among the general public.
"We are grateful for all of the scientists, researchers, manufacturing workers, and service members who have worked tirelessly to make this breakthrough possible," he said. "It is truly a Christmas miracle."
"In this holy season, we thank G-d for his infinite love, and we pray that the light of his glory will forever shine on this magnificent land," the president said before signing off. "On behalf of Melania and the entire Trump family, we wish you a very, merry Christmas and a happy New Year."
Americans marked a grim Christmas Eve on Thursday as coronavirus infections exploded nationwide, political leaders warned them not to travel or gather in large groups and a highly contagious variant of the virus spread further in Europe.
More than one million people have received the first of two vaccine doses since Dec. 14, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the vaccinations have so far had little effect on the latest surge in cases spiraling nationwide.
Health care workers, elderly nursing home residents, elected officials and firefighters are among those receiving the vaccines first. Most Americans have been told it could be six months or more before they are eligible for the shots.
Political leaders have come under criticism from both sides of the ideological spectrum for putting themselves at the front of the line.
Even as vaccination programs give Americans a reason to hope that control of the pandemic may be in sight, an even more transmissible variant has spread rapidly in the United Kingdom.
The mutant variant was found in Germany for the first time, the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said on Thursday.
The United States, unlike many nations worldwide, has not banned travelers from Britain but the governors of New York and Washington state have ordered travelers from the U.K. to quarantine on arrival.
The United States recorded more than 3,000 deaths for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally. The US death toll since the pandemic broke out in March has surpassed 326,000.
New York, an early epicenter of the pandemic, has recorded more than 36,000 COVID deaths, far more than any other state.
Reuters contributed to this report.