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Americans celebrate Thanksgiving under Covid cloud as Harry and Meghan have family meal and Trump plays golf

Harriet Brewis
·3-min read
<p>Millions of Americans are reuniting after months apart – despite health warnings not to travel as the pandemic rages on</p> (Reuters)

Millions of Americans are reuniting after months apart – despite health warnings not to travel as the pandemic rages on

(Reuters)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to celebrate their first Thanksgiving in their new US home with an intimate home-cooked dinner.

The couple and son Archie will mark the occasion along with millions of other Americans, at the end of a long year of challenges and separation from loved-ones.

Outgoing president Donald Trump kicked off his own celebrations with a round of golf at his Virginia golf club, as his fury over the election result rages on.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that Harry and Meghan will enjoy a traditional meal together just hours after the duchess spoke out openly about suffering a miscarriage over the summer.

Writing in the New York Times on Wednesday, the duchess gave a heartfelt account of the couple’s traumatic experience in July, and described how she felt an “almost unbearable grief” after losing their second child.

Looking ahead to happier times, a source said the pair are “going to have a quiet dinner at home and are looking forward to celebrating their first American Thanksgiving in the states as a family.

“They plan to enjoy a home-cooked meal with traditional Thanksgiving dishes, including recipes made with fresh vegetables from their garden.”

This means they are likely to sit down in their £11million Santa Barbara mansion and tuck into a feast of roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

On the other side of the country, Mr Trump was spotted enjoying a round of his favourite sport, while firing out a series of tweets complaining about his defeat to Joe Biden.

“Just saw the vote tabulations. There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!! This was a 100% RIGGED ELECTION,” he wrote in a message that was quickly flagged by Twitter as containing a “disputed claim”.

The president has staunchly refused to concede the election to his democratic rival even as state election officials from all corners of America have said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

<p>Donald Trump enjoyed a morning round of golf before jetting back to Washington DC for formal celebrations</p>AP

Donald Trump enjoyed a morning round of golf before jetting back to Washington DC for formal celebrations

AP

Meanwhile, across the country, millions of people have taken to the skies and roads ahead of Thanksgiving, despite health officials and local leaders urging the public to stay at home.

While the number of Americans travelling by air over the past several days was down dramatically from the same time last year, many pressed ahead with their holiday plans as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge throughout the nation.

Some were tired of more than eight months of social distancing and determined to spend time with loved ones.

“I think with the holidays and everything, it’s so important right now, especially because people are so bummed out because of the whole pandemic,” said 25-year-old Cassidy Zerkle, who flew to Kansas City, Missouri, to visit family during what is traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

She brought snacks and her own hand sanitiser and said the flight was half full.

The US has recorded more than 12.7 million coronavirus infections and over 262,000 deaths.

More than 88,000 people in the US, an all-time high, were in the hospital with Covid-19 as of Tuesday, pushing the health care system in many places to the breaking point.

New cases of the virus have been setting records, soaring to an average of over 174,000 per day. While deaths have surged to more than 1,600 per day – the highest figure since May.

<p>Millions of Americans have travelled to visit loved-ones over the holiday period</p>Getty Images

Millions of Americans have travelled to visit loved-ones over the holiday period

Getty Images

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local authorities have begged people not to travel and urged them to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations small.

“That’ll make sure that your extended family are around to celebrate Christmas and to celebrate the holidays next year,” Kentucky governor Andy Beshear said.

About 900,000 to one million people per day passed through US airport checkpoints from Friday until Wednesday – a drop-off of around 60 per cent from the same time a year ago.

Last year, a record 26 million passengers and crew passed through US airport screening in the 11-day period around Thanksgiving.

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