President Biden will deliver his first primetime address to the nation as commander-in-chief Thursday night, as the US marks the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden’s speech, scheduled for 8 p.m. EST, will come the night before he plans to sign his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package into law.
While text of his remarks have yet to be released, the president said at an event Wednesday that he planned to focus on “the next phase” of the virus relief effort in the wake of the bill’s passage.
“Tomorrow night, I’m going on primetime to address the American people and talk about what we went through as a nation this past year,” he told reporters, “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.”
“There is light at the end of this dark tunnel of the past year, but 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,” Biden continued.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the speech would follow familiar Biden pandemic themes, urging sacrifice before an eventual return to normal.
“The president will look forward to highlighting the role of Americans — that Americans will play in beating the virus and moving the country toward getting back to normal,” she said.
US health authorities have approved three COVID-19 vaccines, something that is sure to come up as Biden pledged last week that there will be enough vaccine doses for all American adults by May.
He will also likely address how some states are loosing restrictions on businesses and dropping mask mandates, given his recent rebuke that such ideas were the product of “Neanderthal thinking.”
It was Wednesday, March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization declared that the virus had reached pandemic-status.
Hours later, then-President Donald Trump delivered an address from the Oval Office where he announced a travel ban from Europe. The administration had already imposed travel restrictions on China by then.