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President Donald Trump issues full pardon to 'Corn,' the 2020 White House turkey

White House turkey pardon: 'Corn' narrowly edges out 'Cob' in Twitter vote
Posted at 11:56 AM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 14:41:26-05

President Donald Trump took part in a time-honored tradition on Tuesday afternoon as he issued a pardon to the White House turkey in a ceremony in the Rose Garden.

As they have throughout the last four years, the White House asked America to chose which turkey should receive a pardon.

According to the poll posed by the official White House Twitter account, "Corn" narrowly edged out "Cob" in voting, 54% to 46%. In the past, Trump has issued a pardon to both turkeys, regardless of the vote count.

The two turkeys were raised in Iowa by Rob Kardel, the chairman of the National Turkey Federation.

The turkeys spent the evening at Washington's famed Willard Hotel on Monday evening and will now live out their lives at Iowa State University.

During his remarks, Trump gave thanks to doctors, nurses and other health care officials currently help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as first responders and military members. He also praised drug companies who have announced promising developments in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, calling it the "greatest medical achievement" ever.

Tuesday's pardoning will be the last of Trump's presidential term. He's largely laid low since election day, holding just five on-camera events since Nov. 3, one of which was a Veteran's Day appearance at Arlington National Cemetery at which he did not speak. He has not taken questions from reporters on-camera since election day.

The 2020 ceremony also comes as COVID-19 continues to spread at rates unseen since the pandemic began. Spectators were in the White House Rose Garden for the ceremony, though seats were placed further apart than usual and many guests wore masks.

Last year, Trump pardoned two turkeys, "Bread" and "Butter," both of whom were sent to live at Virginia Tech following the ceremony.

Legend has it that the first president to issue a pardon to a turkey was Abraham Lincoln, who did so at the request of his son. The first recorded pardon of a White House turkey was issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

While the Trumps typically spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Florida at their Mar-a-Lago estate, first lady Melania Trump announced this week the family would remain at the White House in 2020.