‘New Moment’: Biden Voices Optimism On The State Of The Pandemic
During his State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden said that the tools are in place to allow most Americans to safely remove masks and restart normal activities. “Thanks to the progress we have made this past year, covid-19 need no longer control our lives,” he said, while also cautioning that the virus has not gone away.
Biden Says Americans Can 'Remove Their Masks,' Resume Pre-Covid Work, Life Routines
President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night that the world had “reached a new moment” in the coronavirus pandemic and called on Americans to begin resuming their pre-Covid work and lifestyle routines. “Because of the progress we’ve made, because of your resilience and the tools we have, tonight I can say we are moving forward safely, back to more normal routines,” Biden said. “We can end the shutdown of schools and businesses. We have the tools we need,” he added a moment later. “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again. People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office. (Edelman, 3/1)
Biden Says 'COVID-19 No Longer Need Control Our Lives'
Biden cautioned, though, that the virus is not going to completely go away, a fine line for the administration to walk given the threat of a new, more dangerous variant in the future. The delta variant’s rise threw a wrench in the administration’s plans after Biden previously touted progress at the Fourth of July last year. “I know some are talking about ‘living with COVID-19,’” he said. “Tonight — I say that we never will just accept living with COVID-19. We will continue to combat the virus as we do other diseases. And because this virus mutates and spreads, we have to stay on guard.” (Sullivan, 3/1)
Analysis: Biden Seeks 'Reset' On Pandemic And His Presidency
Midway through his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Biden pleaded with the country to finally, after nearly 1 million deaths, stop viewing the coronavirus as a political fault line. “Let’s use this moment to reset,” he said. It was a phrase that applied to much more than the pandemic. After a first year that saw his most ambitious plans stall and his public approval ratings plunge, Biden delivered an address that sought to turn the page and prepare his party for midterm elections in November. (Megerian, 3/2)
The Washington Post:
Biden Declares Pandemic Reset, Saying Covid ‘Need No Longer Control Our Lives’
The delicate balance Biden sought to strike — highlighting the wide availability of vaccines, treatments, masks and tests that people can use to protect themselves, while urging continued vigilance — underscores the challenge he faces in coming weeks and months. The administration is simultaneously under pressure to ease restrictions and enable a return to normalcy while polls show that most Americans still want some mitigation measures in place as the virus continues to circulate, if at lower levels. (Abutaleb, Sun and Diamond, 3/1)
Biden Walks A Fine Line On Covid Optimism In State Of The Union
In addition to the public health measures, Biden announced that the Department of Justice would soon appoint a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud, with the intention of “going after the criminals who stole billions in relief money meant for small businesses and millions of Americans.” (Facher, 3/1)
Fact Check: Biden Sets High Bar In 1st State Of The Union Speech
What a difference a year makes. The speech was delivered to a largely unmasked crowd of lawmakers, justices, and Cabinet members in the House chamber. (Knight and DeGuzman, 3/2)