President Joe Biden will deliver the first primetime address of his presidency on Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the nation, at a time when more than 500,000 Americans have died as a result of Covid-19.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing on Monday that the president will speak on Thursday night, while discussing the sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation expected to be signed into law in the coming weeks.
The president’s proposed American Rescue Plan included $1,400 direct payments to many Americans, as well as further funding for vaccine production and distribution.
Mr Biden has held and attended public ceremonies honoring the lives lost across the country, including a somber candle-lighting event last month when the nation surpassed 500,000 deaths.
The president also observed a sunset ceremony to mark the 400,000 point of the nationwide death toll alongside Vice President Kamala Harris on the night before their inauguration.
As that ceremony, Mr Biden said: “To heal, we must remember, and it’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal. It’s important to do that as a nation. That’s why we’re here today. Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection, and remember all whom we lost.”
Ms Psaki did not indicate the exact time of the primetime address during her Monday press conference.