President Biden Reveals Plans to Check in on Al Roker While Calling Into the Thanksgiving Day Parade

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden walk on the South Lawn of the White House after arriving on Marine One in Washington, D.C., US, on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. Biden resumed official travel today for the first time since his bout with Covid-19, traveling to Kentucky to show federal support for the state's recovery from historic flooding and to console survivors of the devastation. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty

President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden are feeling grateful this Thanksgiving.

On Thursday, the pair called into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade — speaking with Today co-host Dylan Dreyer — to share their good wishes to Americans, especially first responders and Al Roker.

"I want to say thanks to the firefighters, the police officers, first responders. They never take a break," the president said. "And by the way, we're gonna be talking to some of our troops later today, both here and abroad."

He added they would be "spending some time on the island thanking those first responders here." The Bidens, who traditionally spend Thanksgiving on Nantucket, will have a family dinner and walk on the beach, Dr. Biden said during the call.

This is the second year in a row that they made a surprise phone call to Today anchors. Last year, President Biden called his "pal" Roker during the broadcast. During the 2021 parade, he told Roker, "My message is: After two years, you're back. America is back. There's nothing we're unable to overcome, Al. And you're one of the reasons for that, pal. You're always up. You're always rooting."

This year, Roker had to miss the 96th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade after walking the parade route for 27 years because he's recovering from blood clots in his leg and lungs that sent him to the hospital earlier this month.

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When Dreyer spoke by phone with the president and first lady this year, the president acknowledged Roker. "We're going to give Al a call, too, see how he's doing," the president told Dreyer, to which she responded, "Al is doing great."

During this year's broadcast, his fellow morning show co-hosts also sent Roker well wishes.

"For the past 27 parades, at this moment, Savannah, we would turn to Al Roker, who is our Today show colleague and our best pal," Hoda Kotb said. "But as a lot of you have heard, Al's recovering — he's recovering very well from a recent medical issue. And we just want to say, we love you Al. Wondering if you're watching, but we wish you a full recovery."

Savannah Guthrie also shared a heartfelt message with the Today show weather anchor, before announcing that Today co-host Dreyer will take his place this year.

"We love you, Al. We'll see you next year," Guthrie said. "And now, standing in for Al, Ms. Dylan Dreyer from the Today show. She's positioned uptown at the parade's start line. Hi Dylan, good morning!"

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Dreyer had some sweet words for her the weather expert. "Good morning guys, and Happy Thanksgiving. Al, we love you, we miss you and we're thinking about you!"

On Thursday, Roker shared on his Instagram that he left the hospital. "This is my version of the Thanksgiving Day Parade — getting ready to leave the hospital!" he said as he walked through the hall. "Time to blow this taco stand. Woohoo!"

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He also captioned the post: "So much to be #thankful for on the #thanksgiving day. Leaving the hospital and home for #thanksgivingdinner."

Once he got home, Roker even tuned into the parade to watch his colleagues facilitate the show, posting a selfie in front of the TV. "Back home in time to catch a little bit of the #macysthanksgivingdayparade," he wrote. "Missing being next to @savannahguthrie and @hodakotb."

"So many of you have been thoughtfully asking where I've been," wrote Roker, 68, captioning a photo of a bouquet of flowers. "Last week I was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in my leg which sent some clots into my lungs."