Biden pays tribute to farmers and grocery store workers in Thanksgiving message


President Joe Biden paid tribute to immigrant farm workers, grocery store employees, and frontline medical staff in his Thanksgiving proclamation on Wednesday, while telling families missing a loved one that they are not alone.  

The message came during Biden’s stay at billionaire David Rubenstein’s private compound on Nantucket, where Joe and Jill Biden are spending the holiday with the Bidens’ children Hunter and Ashley, Hunter’s wife Melissa and a gaggle of grandkids: Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie, Hunter, and Beau Biden; and, Peter Neal, Naomi’s fiancé. 

‘We are grateful for the farm workers and frontline workers, many of whom are immigrants, who make sure our food is harvested and shipped, keep our grocery stores stocked, and keep our cities and towns clean and safe,’ Biden said.

‘We are grateful for the health care professionals working to vaccinate our Nation, the nurses who comfort and help people, and the doctors who provide care and compassion,’ he noted.

And, he added, ‘as we celebrate, we will also be thinking of the many families feeling the pain of an empty chair at the Thanksgiving table. You are not alone, and our Nation stands with you.’

The Bidens have gone to Nantucket nearly every year since the mid-1970s for the Thanksgiving holiday. One notable exception is they skipped the year their son Beau Biden died of brain cancer. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the first couple’s stay on the island off the coast of Massachusetts amid soaring prices where ordinary Americans are struggling to pay for their Thanksgiving dinners. Psaki said food prices weren’t that high and everyone should spend the holiday with loved ones.

The White House stressed the Bidens have been going to Nantucket for 46 years since before Biden was a senator. The first couple are scheduled to return to the White House on Sunday. 

The president has come under fire for spending his stay at the home of family friend Rubenstein, the billionaire co-founder of the Carlyle Group, and a former advisor to US President Jimmy Carter. Biden is close friends with the Carters and often visits their home. 

The couple and their family will be staying on their close friend Rubenstein’s $20million 13-acre compound on Nantucket Habor, an estate Biden visited in 2014 when he was vice president.

Rubenstein, 72, is an American billionaire businessman with a net worth of $4.5 billion, according to Forbes. He is the co-founder of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, a global investment company based in Washington D.C. The firm has $260 billion in assets under management.

Biden’s Thanksgiving Proclamation 

Thanksgiving provides us with a time to reflect on our many blessings — from God, this Nation, and each other. We are grateful for these blessings, even — and especially — during times of challenge.

That is why George Washington declared a day of Thanksgiving for his troops as they marched into that dark winter at Valley Forge. It is why in the midst of the Civil War — in proclaiming the Thanksgiving holiday we now celebrate today — Abraham Lincoln urged us to remember our “fruitful fields and healthful skies.” Just as 400 years ago when the Pilgrims were able to celebrate a successful first harvest thanks to the generosity and support of the Wampanoag, today we too express our gratitude for those who have helped us get through this difficult past year.

We are grateful for the farm workers and frontline workers, many of whom are immigrants, who make sure our food is harvested and shipped, keep our grocery stores stocked, and keep our cities and towns clean and safe.

We are grateful for the educators who are welcoming children back into their classrooms, helping them make up for lost learning and lost time, both academically and socially.

We are grateful for the parents who have carried their families through this challenging time, helping their children navigate this difficult chapter in our Nation’s history.

We are grateful for the health care professionals working to vaccinate our Nation, the nurses who comfort and help people, and the doctors who provide care and compassion.

We are grateful for the researchers and scientists who have developed safe and effective vaccines and treatments, allowing us to safely enjoy a Thanksgiving this year with more family around the table.

As always, we are grateful for our troops serving far from home, keeping us safe and defending our values.

For the First Lady and me, Thanksgiving has always been a cherished time to enjoy annual traditions that have evolved into sacred rituals with our children and grandchildren: throwing the football, preparing family recipes, lighting candles, and setting the table. For many Americans, this Thanksgiving will be the first time gathering with loved ones in person since the start of the pandemic — a time of full tables and full hearts.

As we celebrate, we will also be thinking of the many families feeling the pain of an empty chair at the Thanksgiving table. You are not alone, and our Nation stands with you.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 25, 2021, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States of America to join together and give thanks for the friends, neighbors, family members, and strangers who have supported each other over the past year in a reflection of goodwill and unity.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.

President Joe Biden paid tribute to immigrant farm workers, grocery store employees, and frontline medical staff in his Thanksgiving proclamatio

President Joe Biden paid tribute to immigrant farm workers, grocery store employees, and frontline medical staff in his Thanksgiving proclamatio

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk down the steps of Air Force One on Tuesday

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk down the steps of Air Force One on Tuesday

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden step off Air Force One upon arrival at Nantucket Memorial Airport to spend the Thanksgiving holiday

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden step off Air Force One upon arrival at Nantucket Memorial Airport to spend the Thanksgiving holiday

Hunter Biden and his son Beau joined the Bidens for the flight

Hunter Biden and his son Beau joined the Bidens for the flight

Hunter Biden carrying Beau Biden disembarks from Air Force One with some of the other Biden grandkids

Hunter Biden carrying Beau Biden disembarks from Air Force One with some of the other Biden grandkids

Biden grandkids Naomi Biden (R) and Robert Hunter Biden (L) walk with Naomi's dog Charlie after getting off Air Force One

Biden grandkids Naomi Biden (R) and Robert Hunter Biden (L) walk with Naomi’s dog Charlie after getting off Air Force One

The Bidens will be on Nantucket through Sunday

The Bidens will be on Nantucket through Sunday

The 13-acre compound owned by billionaire Carlyle group co-founder David Rubenstein on Nantucket Harbor is worth about $20 million

The 13-acre compound owned by billionaire Carlyle group co-founder David Rubenstein on Nantucket Harbor is worth about $20 million

The location of 13,000-square-foot home is historic as it’s called Abram’s Point off the Polpis Road – named after one of the last surviving Native American Wampanoag race, Abram Quary. The estate features a tennis court, swimming pool and private dock.   

Biden ran for president as a symbol and representative of the middle class. But Psaki pushed back on Tuesday when asked what image it sent that Biden was spending the holiday at a billionaire’s house on Nantucket as inflation was on the rise across the country.

‘This is a time to put politics aside, spend time with your loved ones and talk about what you’re grateful for,’ she said.

She added that Biden will be working from the island, where he is known as ‘Joe’ by locals, due to how often he visits. 

‘He will conduct his work from wherever he is on any vacation on any time,’ she noted. ‘He has secure phone capabilities. He has staff traveling with him.’

She also said food prices weren’t that high.

‘There are abundance of turkeys available. They’re about $1 more for a 20 pound bird, which is a huge bird if you’re feeding a very big family, and that’s something that again, we’ve been working to make sure people have more money in their pockets to address,’ she said at her daily White House press briefing.

Hunter held his son as they disembarked Air Force One

Hunter held his son as they disembarked Air Force One

President Biden and first lady Jill were seen getting off Air Force One Tuesday in Nantucket

President Biden and first lady Jill were seen getting off Air Force One Tuesday in Nantucket

The White House stressed the Bidens have been going to Nantucket for 46 years

The White House stressed the Bidens have been going to Nantucket for 46 years

On island, Bidens will stay at the 13-acre compound owned by billionaire Carlyle group co-founder David Rubenstein on Nantucket Harbor

On island, Bidens will stay at the 13-acre compound owned by billionaire Carlyle group co-founder David Rubenstein on Nantucket Harbor

The Biden family has been spending Thanksgiving on the island nearly every year since 1975

The Biden family has been spending Thanksgiving on the island nearly every year since 1975

The first couple are scheduled to return to the White House on Sunday

The first couple are scheduled to return to the White House on Sunday

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden's decision to spend the Thanksgiving on Nantucket, saying foor prices weren't that high and everyone should spend the holiday with loved ones

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden’s decision to spend the Thanksgiving on Nantucket, saying foor prices weren’t that high and everyone should spend the holiday with loved ones

Carlyle Co-Founder David Rubenstein was honored alongside former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy Gala in New York in November 2017

Carlyle Co-Founder David Rubenstein was honored alongside former Vice President Joe Biden at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy Gala in New York in November 2017

Thanksgiving Food Prices on the Rise

The Department of Agriculture released a list of the average price of Thanksgiving staples and noted that it over all represents a 5.0% increase over last year for these items:

Frozen Turkey Hen (12 lbs.) – $0.88 cents per pound

Sweet Potatoes – $0.83 cents per pound

Russet Potatoes – $0.90 cents per pound

Cranberries – $2.22 per 12 oz. bag

Green beans – $1.64 per pound

Milk (1 gallon) – $3.75 per gallon

The Farm Bureau estimates the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 is $53.31 or less than $6.00 per person. This is a $6.41 or 14% increase from last year’s average of $46.90: 

16-pound turkey: $23.99 or approximately $1.50 per pound (up 24%)

2 frozen pie crusts: $2.91 (up 20%)

30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $3.64 (up 7%)

Half pint of whipping cream: $1.78 (up 2%)

1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.05 (up 15%)

12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.98 (up 11%)

1 gallon of whole milk: $3.30 (up 7%)

1 pound of frozen peas: $1.54 (up 6%)

3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.56 (up 4%)

1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): 82 cents (up 12%)

Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.45 (up 12%)

14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $2.29 (down 19%)

The Department of Agriculture estimates a 5% increase in prices for select Thanksgiving essentials and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said last week a large turkey would only cost $1 more.

However, the Farm Bureau reports the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 is $53.31 or less than $6.00 per person. This is a $6.41 or 14% increase from last year’s average of $46.90.

And it estimates a 16-pound turkey costs more than last year, at $23.99 – roughly $1.50 per pound, up 24% from last year. 

Rubenstein is the co-founder of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group. He gives millions to charity  – including for the repair of the Washington Monument after the 2011 earthquake and to the National Zoo for its Giant Panda program. He also is chairman of the Kennedy Center. 

Biden has previously stayed at Rubenstein’s place on Nantucket, including in 2014 when he was vice president. The Bidens rent a home on the island for the holiday and the location has varied from year to year.

The Bidens, despite the enormous amount of staff, security and press following them, are expected to continue some of their usual traditions.

They usually get their Thanksgiving dinner from chef Bill Puder at his Faregrounds restaurant. He has been cooking for their traditional dinner for more than 20 years. 

Puder told WHDH: ‘It started 21-years-ago when Jill called me up and asked me if I could cook Thanksgiving for their family and I said, ‘No problem’. The tradition kept going on and on.’

Leah Bayer, the owner of Aunt Leah’s Fudge, said she was preparing Biden’s favorite blend of fudge  — chocolate coconut.

‘I already got word he’s coming here with his grandkids and the family,’ Bayer said. ‘He’s been a regular customer of mine before he even became Vice President. I only know him as Joe.’

Biden is also expected to attend the annual Christmas tree lighting event on Main Street Friday, the Nantucket Current reported, and will possibly go to Catholic mass at the St. Mary church on Federal Street on Saturday.

Over the weekend, military aircraft and vehicles arrived on the 105 mile square foot island and temporary flight restrictions were put into place ahead of Biden’s arrival. 

The Bidens have already got a start on the holiday season. 

President Biden pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey on Friday; Jill Biden received the White House Christmas tree on Monday and both Bidens held a ‘Friendsgiving’ with military service members at Fort Bragg on Monday night.

The Bidens also took part in a service project at DC Central Kitchen with Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff.   

At that event, the president said he was thankful for the ‘people who I’m standing next to’ as he prepared Thanksgiving meals alongside his wife, the second couple, and staff at the nonprofit. 

‘The people who I’m standing next to is who I’m thankful for. They got up. They got knocked down and got back up,’ Biden said, putting his arm around one of the staff next to him.

DC Central Kitchen trains jobless adults in the culinary arts along with providing meals for those in need. 

The Bidens were participating in the service project before departing for Nantucket, where they will spend the Thanksgiving holiday.

Over the weekend, military aircraft and vehicles arrived on Nantucket ahead of Biden's arrival on Tuesday evening

Over the weekend, military aircraft and vehicles arrived on Nantucket ahead of Biden’s arrival on Tuesday evening

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden formed an assembly line to put together Thanksgiving meals during a service project at DC Central Kitchen

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden formed an assembly line to put together Thanksgiving meals during a service project at DC Central Kitchen

President Joe Biden said he was thankful for the 'people who I'm standing next to' as he prepared Thanksgiving meals

President Joe Biden said he was thankful for the ‘people who I’m standing next to’ as he prepared Thanksgiving meals

Jill Biden called for Vice President Harris to hurry up and get to the string beans

Jill Biden called for Vice President Harris to hurry up and get to the string beans

The Bidens participated in the service project before leaving for Nantucket, where they will spend Thanksgiving - above President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, carrying flowers, arrive at Joint Base Andrews

The Bidens participated in the service project before leaving for Nantucket, where they will spend Thanksgiving – above President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, carrying flowers, arrive at Joint Base Andrews  

The four helped prepare Thanksgiving meals for the nonprofit that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. President Barack Obama and his family visited DC Central Kitchen twice while he was in office.

On the assembly line, President Biden took on turkey prep, Harris was on string bean duty, Jill Biden handled the squash casserole and Emhoff finished the meals off with gravy.

‘Come on Kamala,’ Jill Biden called to get the vice president to the table. ‘Get on the beans, you’re holding up the line.’

‘Oh no,’ Harris replied. She and Emhoff hurried to join the Bidens.

DC Central Kitchen, founded in 1989, said they planned to serve around 4,000 Thanksgiving meals this year. ‘They put together about 450 of those plates this afternoon during the visit,’ a spokesperson for the nonprofit told DailyMail.com of the presidential visit.

The president and second gentleman wore black baseball caps embroidered with DC Central Kitchen’s logo.

Celebrity chef José Andrés, who serves on DC Central Kitchen’s board, was there for the event.

The Bidens were still dating when they first visited Nantucket, with Biden’s sons, Beau and Hunter, in the mid-1970s.

Biden wrote in his 2017 memoir ‘Promise Me Dad’ that one of his aides suggest the island for a get-away.

‘Neither Jill nor I had ever been there, but we decided to go ahead and make an adventure of it,’ he wrote.  

There was one notable interruption to the Bidens’ traditional visit to the island.

For Thanksgiving 2015, which took place about six months after Beau Biden, the president’s eldest son, died of brain cancer, Jill Biden opted to take the family to Rome instead.

Beau proposed to his future wife at Nantucket’s 2001 Christmas tree lighting and married her at a chuch on the island. 

Last year, Biden and Jill celebrated Thanksgiving at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., because of the COVID pandemic, when medical experts were advising against large crowds. Only their daughter Ashley and her husband joined them. 

Who is billionaire businessman David Rubenstein?

Joe and Jill Biden arrived on Nantucket on Tuesday for Thanksgiving after the White House defended their stay at billionaire David Rubenstein’s private compound on the posh island. 

The Bidens will stay at Rubenstein’s $20million 13-acre compound on Nantucket Harbor. Biden has previously stayed at Rubenstein’s place on Nantucket, including in 2014 when he was vice president.

Rubenstein bought the waterfront property in 2000 for his now ex-wife Alice and their three children. He tore down the existing house and put up a 13,000-square-foot home which features a tennis court, swimming pool and private dock.

Rubenstein has reportedly boasted to friends that he only spends 12 days a year at the Nantucket estate. A rock on his front lawn reads: ‘I’d rather be working.’ 

The location of the home is historic as it’s called Abram’s Point off the Polpis Road – named after one of the last surviving Native American Wampanoag race, Abram Quary.   

Rubenstein, 72, is an American billionaire businessman with a net worth of $4.5 billion, according to Forbes. He is the co-founder of the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, a global investment company based in Washington D.C. The firm has $260 billion in assets under management.

David Rubenstein, 72, is an American billionaire businessman with a net worth of $4.5 billion

David Rubenstein, 72, is an American billionaire businessman with a net worth of $4.5 billion

Private equity firms are companies that take struggling companies that are not traded on the stock exchange and raise cash, which they then re-invest in those companies with the goal of making them profitable.

These firms would then try to get a handsome return on their investment by either offering the company to the public which can buy shares, selling the company, or recapitalization.

Rubenstein cofounded The Carlyle Group in 1987 with William Conway Jr and Daniel D’Aniello and managed the company’s advisers, which included George H.W. Bush. He now serves as non-executive co-chairman of the company.

Before cofounding The Carlyle group, Rubenstein practiced law in New York between 1973 and 1975. He served as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. 

Rubenstein then went on to serve as an official for President Jimmy Carter’s Administration as a deputy domestic policy adviser to the President.  

He gives millions to charity  – including $7.5million for the repair of the Washington Monument after the 2011 earthquake and to the National Zoo for its Giant Panda program. 

He has made large gifts in recent years to Washington’s cultural institutions including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center, where he is chairman. 

Like Bill Gates he is among the list of billionaires that have pledged to give at least half their money to philanthropic causes in their lifetime. 

In 2014, Rubenstein donated $12.3 million to restore Arlington House, the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The columned home, originally built as a monument to George Washington between 1802 and 1818, was restored to its historical appearance in 1860, before the start of the U.S. Civil War.

Rubenstein, a history buff, said the site crowns the most sacred land in America but needed major repairs.

The money he donated to National Park Foundation will also go toward fixing the grounds and slave quarters, and overhauling the site’s museum exhibits.

‘The goal is to remind people of American history,’ Rubenstein said at the time. ‘I think when you’re restoring history, you should remind people of the good and the bad.’

In 2016, Rubenstein donated $18million to fix up the Lincoln Memorial. The money was used to fix the memorial’s roof, clean the marble and improve accessibility by adding a second elevator. 

Rubenstein said his admiration for Lincoln drew him to this project. ‘Lincoln deserves to have his memorial in tip-top shape,’ he said in a phone interview at the time. 

In 2007 Rubenstein bought a copy of the Magna Carta for $21.3million. The Magna Carta bears the seal of King Edward I and is dated 1297. It is one of 17 known handwritten copies of the text that established a tradition for the rule of law that even the king would honour.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.