WATCH: Biden asks for recognition of ‘how far we came’ fighting COVID | 2023 State of the Union
In his second State of the Union address, President Joe Biden reflected on how far the country has come in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that deaths attributed to the disease are down by 90 percent, and that “millions of lives” have been saved.
“While the virus is not gone, thanks to the resilience of the American people and the ingenuity of medicine, we’ve broken the COVID grip on us,” Biden said, adding that his administration plans to soon end federal declarations characterizing the pandemic as a public health emergency.
The phase-out of the emergency declarations, which is planned to take place in May, means the end of federal funding that has provided free COVID tests and treatments for many Americans.
But the president called on Congress to continue funding efforts to monitor new variants of the virus and develop new vaccines and therapies aimed at fighting them.
Biden’s Feb. 7 address comes a year after Russia invaded Ukraine and amid new diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China over a suspected surveillance balloon. This is Biden’s second State of the Union address, as his first was a joint address to Congress in April 2021.
Last year, Biden used his address to emphasize themes of bipartisanship and unity. But he now faces a split Congress, with the GOP-led House launching efforts to investigate his family and his administration.
Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG
Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6
PBS NewsHour podcasts: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/podcasts