Ah, Thanksgiving — a time for copious amounts of delicious food, spending time with loved ones, and discussing the wildness that has been 2020. However, following a contentious 2020 election cycle, it seems like some political figures are still all about the drama. President Donald Trump's Thanksgiving 2020 tweet celebrated a controversial Supreme Court ruling, and many Americans are disappointed but not surprised.
The Thanksgiving holiday is perhaps a chance for Trump to focus on something other than his electoral loss — and indeed, he pivoted from making false allegations of widespread voter fraud to subtly downplaying the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thanksgiving morning, Trump quote-tweeted a post from @SCOTUSblog with "HAPPY THANKSGIVING" in all caps, notably taking a celebratory tone. The president seemed to be praising the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to block New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo from enforcing attendance limits at religious services, as a health precaution to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump's enthusiastic tweet comes in the midst of a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 262,000 Americans, per the New York Times — and experts say with the oncoming holidays and winter months, the worst wave is still yet to come. On Nov. 26 alone, over 2,300 people will die on Thanksgiving. This is far from the first time the president has downplayed the virus. In early September, it was revealed that Trump had intentionally misled the American public about the severe nature of the virus to avoid causing a nation-wide "panic."
"I wanted to always play it down," the president stated in a released audio recording with investigative journalist Bob Woodward. Woodward recorded his interviews with Trump for his newest book, Rage. "I still like playing it down because I don't want to cause a panic." Trump's sentiments toward social gatherings during the holidays are the exact opposite of President-elect Joe Biden's. In a Nov. 25 address to the nation, Biden called for Americans to "slow the growth of the virus" by "wearing masks, keeping social distancing, and limiting the size of any groups we’re in."
Over the course of November, it seems like Trump has gone out of his way to turn his head from the pandemic. Instead, he's focused on bogus claims of election fraud, and has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden — even as states are certifying their results and the political machinery is in the process of transitioning to the incoming Biden administration.
Although the Trump administration has filed a torrent of unsubstantiated lawsuits in six battleground states where Biden won by relatively close margins, experts say these filings lack the necessary evidence to hold any sort of legal merit in court. "None of the Trump campaign lawsuits are likely to change the fact that he lost the 2020 presidential election," says Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, A.D., J.D., a professor of law at Stetson University. "None of [Trump's claims] are true. He is living in a fantasy land — but it is a fantasy that can do long-term damage to Americans’ trust in the democratic process," she adds.
States are required to certify their election results by Dec. 8, while the Electoral College is scheduled to officially select the new U.S. president on Dec. 14. Although it's still uncertain whether or not Trump will ever gracefully concede the election, one thing is true: At noon on Jan. 20, he is scheduled to join America's short list of one-term U.S. presidents when Biden is sworn into office.