Bay of Plenty Times
Corny jokes out in tense year
Nostalgiawasin and jokes were out yesterday as President Donald Trumpoffered a reprieve to apair of meaty turkeys at the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon ceremony at the White House.
The National Turkey Federation presented the Whitehousewith two birds, Corn and Cob. Cornwas declared the national Thanksgiving turkey, though both will retire to a newhomeon thecampusof Iowa State University. It’s not the first time the typically light-hearted turkey pardon ceremony has taken place in a tense time for the nation.
This time, the ceremonycame amid a global pandemic and as Trumprefuses to concede he lost his re-election bid. Trumpcited the vaccines that could soon receive approval fromusregulators.
“Wegive thanks for the vaccines and therapies that will soon end the pandemic,” Trumpsaid at one point. Hedid not reference the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.
Trumpdid not take questions from reporters as he spoke in the Rose Garden to morethan 100 staff and guests, the vast majority wearing masks. His tonewasmore serious than in prior turkey pardon ceremonies.
Trumpused last year’s pardon tomakejokes about the impeachment process.
In 2018, Trumpjoked about one of the turkeys contesting the election. George H.W. Bush established the annual turkey pardon tradition in 1989 by sparing a23kg bird as animal rights activists picketed nearby.