Biden Touts Vaccine, Election Integrity at Turkey Pardon Ceremony President Joe Biden pardons Chocolate, the national Thanksgiving turkey, as he is joined by the 2022 National Turkey Federation Chair Ronnie Parker on the South Lawn of the White House Monday in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
By Brian Pfail | Monday, 21 November 2022 01:31 PM EST
President Biden said there was no evidence of "fowl play" during the midterm elections while touting immunizations as he pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey at the White House.
"The votes are in. They've been counted and verified. There's no ballot stuffing," Biden said, digging into former President Trump's claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election — as he prepared to pardon the turkeys in the nation's tradition to pardon a turkey before Thanksgiving on Monday.
"The only red wave this season's gonna be if our German shepherd, Commander, knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table," Biden said of his dog, who once led him to slip barefooted out of the shower.
The president pardoned two turkeys this year — Chocolate and Chip.
Commander watched the ceremony from the Truman Balcony of the White House along with two of Biden's grandchildren.
"I was worried if he came down here with all of you, he'd just do nothing but kiss you and lick you. But he may go after the turkeys, so I kept them up there," Biden said of the dog.
Chocolate, the 46-pound pardoned turkey, and Chip, named as the backup, were raised at a North Carolina ranch. According to Biden, the pair will live out their lives at North Carolina State University following their pardon.
Biden also advised vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19.
"Think about the scientists and researchers, doctors and nurses, keeping us safe through the pandemic," Biden said.
"Two years ago, we couldn't even safely have Thanksgiving with large family gatherings. Now we can. That's progress, and let's keep going," the president added.
"We have new COVID vaccine updates to deal with, new variants or to protect you and your loved ones," he said as he urged immunization.
"This winter can be much happier than recent holiday seasons," he added, "but you have to do your part."