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Biden speaks on inflation and Russia in his first State of the Union address

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

President Biden announced in his first State of the Union address Tuesday that the United States has reached a new point in the COVID-19 pandemic, it has reached a "new moment" in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and wants Congress to pass piecemeal measures to address the growing costs Americans face.

He also said that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine and promised to continue sending assistance over and above the $1 billion in direct assistance the United States has already sent. Biden began his speech with remarks on Russia-Ukraine, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin as an authoritarian and criticizing the Russian attack on Ukraine as "premeditated and unprovoked." He also said that the United States would stand with the people of Ukraine.

As part of the speech, Biden announced that all Russian flights would be denied access to U.S. airspace.

“When the history of this era is written, Putin’s war in Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger,” Biden said.

In relation to the spread of COVID-19, Biden also showed a softening in rhetoric. He promised in December that those without vaccines would face a "winter of severe illness and death," but on Tuesday he claimed the country has "moved safely back to a more normal routine."

“We’ve reached a new moment in the fight against COVID-19 where severe cases are down to a level not seen since July of last year,” Biden said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new statement a few days ago relaxing their recommendations regarding mask use. During the days leading up to the State of the Union, Congress also dropped its masking requirement.

In addition, Biden called for increasing domestic manufacturing, touting recent private sector investments in the field, and called for the $250 billion Bipartisan Innovation Bill to be passed.

2 March 2022


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