For many Georgians, Christmas means gathering with loved ones, celebrating the birth of Jesus and reflecting on the past year as we look to the new year ahead. This particular holiday season comes at the end of what has been a difficult year for many of us– the COVID-19 pandemic, financial disruption, separation from friends and family and increased uncertainty in nearly every aspect of our lives.
Despite these challenges, what I have seen as I have traveled around Georgia this year is a drive to create a better tomorrow for our families and our communities. Meeting with folks from Albany and Augusta to Marietta and Macon has given me great hope for Georgia and left me deeply appreciative for the many blessings we have as Americans.
There are the doctors, nurses and health care workers who show up day after day, pushing through exhaustion to provide critical care for their communities. In Georgia, small businesses pivoted to making hand sanitizer, and colleges and universities across the state began manufacturing face shields to support our health care workers. People came together to support those who needed it most.
I am in awe of what innovative experts in science and modern medicine have been able to achieve. A vaccine that some thought would be years away was, in fact, developed in just months. Not only that, but there are at least two vaccines, each shown to be more than 90 percent effective – an astounding and impressive rate. In our home state, hospitals, like Emory University Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital, are on the frontlines of providing new treatments to COVID-19 patients. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed, President Trump’s commitment and the funding provided by Congress, millions of Americans will be protected from COVID-19 before the end of the year.
I am also incredibly grateful for our farmers, grocery store clerks, delivery truck drivers and other frontline workers who worked hard even before the pandemic but are now being recognized for the essential role they play in keeping the plates of our 21st century economy spinning.
As always, I am deeply thankful for those who keep us safe: our men and women in uniform, many of whom are far from their loved ones during this holiday season, fighting to protect our freedoms; and the law enforcement officers who have faced a surge in violence and demoralizing attacks this year. Their service and sacrifice will never go unnoticed or unappreciated.
For all these reasons and more, I am optimistic about the future – as individuals and as a nation – this Christmas season. As we head into 2021, I pray for joy and togetherness in our homes and hearts. May God bless you in the New Year with prosperity and peace.