Tonight, on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. experiencing tragic deaths and shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden will deliver his first primetime speech from the White House.
Officials said the president will talk about the sacrifices made by people across America, the more than 500,000 lives lost, and the millions of people whose lives have been changed by the pandemic.
He will also reportedly speak about how the pandemic has been the greatest operational challenge the country has faced, and the efforts the Biden-Harris Administration has made to rapidly increase the number of vaccinations, get vaccinations sites up and running, and more. The commander-in-chief is expected to chart the next steps necessary to help get the pandemic under control and to defeat it.
The speech, scheduled for 8 PM ET, comes on the heels of Congress passing the American Rescue Plan on Wednesday. The expansive plan is being hailed as a historic, signature accomplishment of the Biden-Harris Administration, and is designed to provide immediate relief and support to communities across the country.
The package creates millions of jobs, cuts child poverty in half, makes health care more affordable, and will mount a nationwide vaccination effort. Checks of $1400 will go to about 85 percent of households based on eligibility.
The bill passed along party lines, with Democrats in the House and Senate backing it, and without Republican support. Many in the GOP called the $1.9 trillion measure too expensive.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and other leaders, however, have said this unprecedented moment in history requires urgency. Millions of individuals, families and businesses across the country are relying on the government to survive family loss, unemployment, schools being closed, and other shifts in daily life. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black America and people of color.
On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted: “For the past 50 days, @POTUS has led our nation in getting shots in arms and getting the American Rescue Plan passed. Today, more than 90 million vaccines have been administered, and, with final passage in the House, the plan is headed to his desk for signature. Now, thanks to @POTUS’ leadership, help is here.”
The president plans to sign the American Rescue plan into law this afternoon. “This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation—the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going—a fighting chance,” said Biden. “I look forward to signing the American Rescue Plan into law at the White House—a people’s law at the people’s house.”