Washington: In their message wishing the nation on Christmas, US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump touted the country's two vaccines against the novel coronavirus as a "Christmas miracle".
The first couple delivered their Christmas greetings in a video released on Thursday, The Hill news website reported.
"We're grateful for all the scientists, researchers, manufacturing workers, and service members, who have worked tirelessly to make this breakthrough possible. It is truly a Christmas miracle," the President was quoted as saying.
"As you know, this Christmas is different than years past. We are battling a global pandemic that has affected all of us," said the First Lady.
"Teachers have worked extraordinarily hard to keep our children learning. Students have delivered groceries to elderly neighbours. Communities have found new ways to stay connected to one another," the couple added.
The two vaccines, one produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, the other by Moderna, have recently been cleared for emergency distribution.
According to health experts, the general public will get widespread access to the vaccines sometime next spring.
The US is celebrating Christmas amidst an unabated increase in the number of fresh coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalisations.
In its latest update on Friday morning, the Johns Hopkins University revealed that the country's ccaseload and death toll stood at 18,649,350 and 329,022, respectively.
The two tallies account for the highest in the world, making the US the hardest-hit country.