President Joe Biden, in his first prime-time address Thursday, plans to “level” with Americans on the current state of the battle against COVID-19 and what comes next.
The speech, expected to last about 20 minutes, will mark one year since the virus was first declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and comes a day before Biden is expected to sign the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package, the Washington Examiner noted. The speech is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST.
The president will "level with the American people about what is still needed to defeat the virus and provide a hopeful vision of what is possible if we all come together," a White House official told the news outlet.
Biden is expected to note the scale of the response to the pandemic while detailing the efforts the administration has planned to continue battling the virus.
He is also likely to focus on the more than half a million COVID-19 deaths and the sacrifices many Americans have had to make.
Biden said Wednesday he would use his address to discuss "what we've been through as a nation this past year," Reuters reported
"But more importantly, I'm going to talk about what comes next. I'm going to launch the next phase of the COVID response and explain what we will do as a government and what we will ask of the American people," he said. "We cannot let our guard down now or assume that victory is inevitable. Together, we're going to get through this pandemic and usher in a healthier and more hopeful future."
Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said the speech is a major opportunity for Biden to try to get his message across, according to The Associated Press.
"This is a chance for him to really beam into everybody’s living rooms and to be both the mourner in chief and to explain how he’s leading the country out of this," Brinkley said. "This is a big moment. He’s got to win over hearts and minds for people to stay masked and get vaccinated, but also recognize that after the last year, the federal government hasn’t forgotten you."
Biden is not expected to refer to former President Donald Trump in his speech, according to the Washington Examiner.
Meanwhile, after Biden signs the $1.9 trillion spending package on Friday, he and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to hit the road in an effort to promote the legislation.
"We’re going to make sure the American people know tangibly what the Rescue Plan means for them," Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, Biden's deputy chief of staff., said in a memo obtained by the Examiner.
Surrogates and senior officials will be "on local TV in markets around America," including in GOP-governed states, as Biden and Harris make their appearances. The spending package failed to garner any support from Republican lawmakers.
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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