Joe Biden Gives 1st State of the Union Address as President
President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday, which drew several bipartisan standing ovations.
An estimated 38.2 million TV viewers tuned into the annual presidential speech, according to Nielsen ratings. Nielsen’s estimates don’t account for other venues on the internet, such as live streams. The speech clocked in at one hour and two minutes.
With many uncertain events happening that directly affect the United States, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic, many Americans have been waiting for this speech to hear Biden’s plans on a multitude of issues.
The first half of the speech was concentrated on the unfolding war in Europe, and the second half was focused on his domestic policy plans.
Biden vowed to make Russian President Vladmir Putin “pay a price” for the recent invasion of Ukraine and called on the world to rally behind Ukraine as Russian missiles are destroying Ukrainian cities.
He said he condemns Putin’s actions and applauded the resilience of the Ukrainian people.
“He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over,” Biden said. “Instead, he met with a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined. He met the Ukrainian people.”
“We will continue to combat the virus as we do other diseases,” Biden said with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Biden vowed to do everything in his power to be prepared if a new variant becomes apparent and urged patience from Americans when moving back to normal routines. President Biden also introduced a new program that will distribute antiviral coronavirus pills to those who test positive at pharmacies.
The largest standing ovation during Biden’s speech came when he rejected demands of defunding the police and stated that there was no need to “choose between safety and equal justice.”
“We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police,” Biden said. “Fund them. Fund them. Fund them with resources and training, resources and training they need to protect their communities.”
“Lower your costs, not your wages,” Biden said when speaking on one of his top priorities — inflation.
He petitioned for more competition in concentrated industries that are overcharging Americans, and pressed price cuts of prescription drugs, childcare and reduction of health-care premiums.
Surprisingly, Biden barely touched on climate change, abortion rights, immigration and gun control; some of the biggest issues on Democrats’ agendas.
Olivia Ausnehmer is a political science and broadcast journalism major. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.