THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President, our First Lady and Second Gentleman. Members of Congress and the Cabinet. Justices of the Supreme Court. My fellow Americans.
Last year COVID-19 kept us apart. This year we are finally together again.
Tonight, we meet as Democrats Republicans and Independents. But most importantly as Americans.
With a duty to one another to the American people to the Constitution.
And with an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.
Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated.
He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead he met a wall of strength he never imagined.
He met the Ukrainian people.
From President Zelenskyy to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination, inspires the world.
Groups of citizens blocking tanks with their bodies. Everyone from students to retirees teachers turned soldiers defending their homeland.
In this struggle as President Zelenskyy said in his speech to the European Parliament “Light will win over darkness.” The Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States is here tonight.
Let each of us here tonight in this Chamber send an unmistakable signal to Ukraine and to the world.
Please rise if you are able and show that, Yes, we the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people.
Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression they cause more chaos.
They keep moving.
And the costs and the threats to America and the world keep rising.
That’s why the NATO Alliance was created to secure peace and stability in Europe after World War 2.
The United States is a member along with 29 other nations.
It matters. American diplomacy matters. American resolve matters.
Putin’s latest attack on Ukraine was premeditated and unprovoked.
He rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy.
He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond.
And he thought he could divide us at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready. Here is what we did.
We prepared extensively and carefully.
We spent months building a coalition of other freedom-loving nations from Europe and the Americas to Asia and Africa to confront Putin.
I spent countless hours unifying our European allies. We shared with the world in advance what we knew Putin was planning and precisely how he would try to falsely justify his aggression.
We countered Russia’s lies with truth.
And now that he has acted the free world is
holding him accountable.
Along with twenty-seven members of the European Union including France, Germany, Italy, as well as countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and many others, even Switzerland.
We are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine. Putin is now isolated from the world more than ever.
Together with our allies –we are right now enforcing powerful economic sanctions.
We are cutting off Russia’s largest banks from the international financial system.
Preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian Ruble making Putin’s $630 Billion “war fund” worthless.
We are choking off Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come.
Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime no more.
The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs.
We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts your luxury apartments your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.
And tonight I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights – further isolating Russia – and adding an additional squeeze –on their economy. The Ruble has lost 30% of its value.
The Russian stock market has lost 40% of its value and trading remains suspended. Russia’s economy is reeling and Putin alone is to blame.
Together with our allies we are providing support to the Ukrainians in their fight for freedom. Military assistance. Economic assistance. Humanitarian assistance.
We are giving more than $1 Billion in direct assistance to Ukraine.
And we will continue to aid the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and to help ease their suffering.
Let me be clear, our forces are not engaged and will not engage in conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine.
Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO Allies – in the event that Putin decides to keep moving west.
For that purpose we’ve mobilized American ground forces, air squadrons, and ship deployments to protect NATO countries including Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
As I have made crystal clear the United States and our Allies will defend every inch of territory of NATO countries with the full force of our collective power.
And we remain clear-eyed. The Ukrainians are fighting back with pure courage. But the next few days weeks, months, will be hard on them.
Putin has unleashed violence and chaos. But while he may make gains on the battlefield – he will pay a continuing high price over the long run.
And a proud Ukrainian people, who have known 30 years of independence, have repeatedly shown that they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards.
To all Americans, I will be honest with you, as I’ve always promised. A Russian dictator, invading a foreign country, has costs around the world.
And I’m taking robust action to make sure the pain of our sanctions is targeted at Russia’s economy. And I will use every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers.
Tonight, I can announce that the United States has worked with 30 other countries to release 60 Million barrels of oil from reserves around the world.
America will lead that effort, releasing 30 Million barrels from our own Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And we stand ready to do more if necessary, unified with our allies.
These steps will help blunt gas prices here at home. And I know the news about what’s happening can seem alarming.
But I want you to know that we are going to be okay.
When the history of this era is written Putin’s war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger.
While it shouldn’t have taken something so terrible for people around the world to see what’s at stake now everyone sees it clearly.
We see the unity among leaders of nations and a more unified Europe a more unified West. And we see unity among the people who are gathering in cities in large crowds around the world even in Russia to demonstrate their support for Ukraine.
In the battle between democracy and autocracy, democracies are rising to the moment, and the world is clearly choosing the side of peace and security.
This is a real test. It’s going to take time. So let us continue to draw inspiration from the iron will of the Ukrainian people.
To our fellow Ukrainian Americans who forge a deep bond that connects our two nations we stand with you.
Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people.
He will never extinguish their love of freedom. He will never weaken the resolve of the free world.
We meet tonight in an America that has lived through two of the hardest years this nation has ever faced.
The pandemic has been punishing.
And so many families are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to keep up with the rising cost of food, gas, housing, and so much more.
I remember when my Dad had to leave our home in Scranton, Pennsylvania to find work.
I grew up in a family where if the price of food went up, you felt it.
That’s why one of the first things I did as President was fight to pass the American Rescue Plan.
Because people were hurting. We needed to act, and we did.
Few pieces of legislation have done more in a critical moment in our history to lift us out of crisis.
It fueled our efforts to vaccinate the nation and combat COVID-19. It delivered immediate economic relief for tens of millions of Americans.
Helped put food on their table, keep a roof over their heads, and cut the cost of health insurance.
And as my Dad used to say, it gave people a little breathing room.
And unlike the $2 Trillion tax cut passed in the previous administration that benefitted the top 1% of Americans, the American Rescue Plan helped working people—and left no one behind.
And it worked. It created jobs. Lots of jobs.
In fact—our economy created over 6.5 Million new jobs just last year, more jobs created in one year
than ever before in the history of America.
Our economy grew at a rate of 5.7% last year, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years, the first step in bringing fundamental change to an economy that hasn’t worked for the working people of this nation for too long.
For the past 40 years we were told that if we gave tax breaks to those at the very top, the benefits would trickle down to everyone else.
But that trickle-down theory led to weaker economic growth, lower wages, bigger deficits, and the widest gap between those at the top and everyone else in nearly a century.
Vice President Harris and I ran for office with a new economic vision for America.
Invest in America. Educate Americans. Grow the workforce. Build the economy from the bottom up
and the middle out, not from the top down.
Because we know that when the middle class grows, the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy do very well.
America used to have the best roads, bridges, and airports on Earth.
Now our infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world.
We won’t be able to compete for the jobs of the 21st Century if we don’t fix that.
That’s why it was so important to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—the most sweeping investment to rebuild America in history.
This was a bipartisan effort, and I want to thank
the members of both parties who worked to make it happen.
We’re done talking about infrastructure weeks.
We’re going to have an infrastructure decade.
It is going to transform America and put us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st Century
that we face with the rest of the world—particularly with China.
As I’ve told Xi Jinping, it is never a good bet to bet against the American people.
We’ll create good jobs for millions of Americans, modernizing roads, airports, ports, and waterways all across America.
And we’ll do it all to withstand the devastating effects of the climate crisis and promote environmental justice.
Significant progress has been made over the last decade in integrating resilience criteria into transportation decision-making. A compelling case remains for investing in making transportation projects more resilient in the face of increasing and intensifying storms, floods, droughts, and other …[more]
Local communities are already experiencing dire effects caused by climate change that are expected to increase in frequency, intensity, duration, and type. Public concern about climate-related challenges is increasing, available information and resources on climate risks are expanding, and …[more]
Communities along the Gulf Coast routinely experience intense weather events. Acute and repetitive shocks – illustrated by the multiple Gulf regional hurricane landfalls during the 2020 hurricane season – have a disproportionate impact on communities in this region that are already burdened by …[more]
As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, the global supply chain is vulnerable to major disruptions from unanticipated events, yet no threat to the functioning of essential supply chains looms larger than the growing number of extreme weather events resulting from climate change. Indeed, the …[more]
Disasters caused by natural hazards and other large-scale emergencies are devastating communities in the United States. These events harm individuals, families, communities, and the entire country, including its economy and the federal budget. This report identifies applied research topics, …[more]
We’ll build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, begin to replace poisonous lead pipes—so every child—and every American—has clean water to drink at home and at school, provide affordable high-speed internet for every American—urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities.
4,000 projects have already been announced.
And tonight, I’m announcing that this year we will start fixing over 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges in disrepair.
TRB Special Report 329: Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future explores pending and future federal investment and policy decisions concerning the federal Interstate Highway System. Congress asked the committee to make recommendations on the …[more]
TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 859: Consequences of Delayed Maintenance of Highway Assets presents a process for quantifying the consequences of delayed maintenance of highway assets that considers the asset preservation policy, the maintenance and …[more]
When we use taxpayer dollars to rebuild America – we are going to Buy American: buy American products to support American jobs.
The federal government spends about $600 Billion a year to keep the country safe and secure.
There’s been a law on the books for almost a century to make sure taxpayers’ dollars support American jobs and businesses.
Every Administration says they’ll do it, but we are actually doing it.
We will buy American to make sure everything from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel on highway guardrails are made in America.
But to compete for the best jobs of the future, we also need to level the playing field with China and other competitors. That’s why it is so important to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act sitting in Congress that will make record investments in emerging technologies and American manufacturing.
Modern materials science builds on knowledge from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer and data science, and engineering sciences to enable us to understand, control, and expand the material world. Although it is anchored in inquiry-based fundamental science, materials research is …[more]
Plasma Science and Engineering transforms fundamental scientific research into powerful societal applications, from materials processing and healthcare to forecasting space weather. Plasma Science: Enabling Technology, Sustainability, Security and Exploration discusses the importance of plasma …[more]
The field of atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science underpins many technologies and continues to progress at an exciting pace for both scientific discoveries and technological innovations. AMO physics studies the fundamental building blocks of functioning matter to help advance the …[more]
Let me give you one example of why it’s so important to pass it.
If you travel 20 miles east of Columbus, Ohio, you’ll find 1,000 empty acres of land.
It won’t look like much, but if you stop and look closely, you’ll see a “Field of dreams,” the ground on which America’s future will be built.
This is where Intel, the American company that helped build Silicon Valley, is going to build its $20 billion semiconductor “mega site”.
Up to eight state-of-the-art factories in one place. 10,000 new good-paying jobs.
Some of the most sophisticated manufacturing in the world to make computer chips the size of a fingertip that power the world and our everyday lives.
Smartphones. The Internet. Technology we have yet to invent.
But that’s just the beginning.
Intel’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who is here tonight, told me they are ready to increase their investment from $20 billion to $100 billion.
That would be one of the biggest investments in manufacturing in American history.
And all they’re waiting for is for you to pass this bill.
So let’s not wait any longer. Send it to my desk. I’ll sign it. And we will really take off.
Computing and information and communications technology (ICT) has dramatically changed how we work and live, has had profound effects on nearly every sector of society, has transformed whole industries, and is a key component of U.S. global leadership. A fundamental driver of advances in …[more]
Quantum mechanics, the subfield of physics that describes the behavior of very small (quantum) particles, provides the basis for a new paradigm of computing. First proposed in the 1980s as a way to improve computational modeling of quantum systems, the field of quantum computing has recently …[more]
Based on the deliberations of a high-level international conference, this report summarizes the presentations of an exceptional group of experts, convened by Intel’s Chairman Emeritus Gordon Moore and SEMATECH’s Chairman Emeritus William Spencer. The report documents the critical technological …[more]
Hosted by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, this symposium brought together leading technologists and economists to review technical challenges facing the semiconductor industry, the industry’s business cycle, the interconnections between the two, and the implications of growth …[more]
Supercomputers play a significant and growing role in a variety of areas important to the nation. They are used to address challenging science and technology problems. In recent years, however, progress in supercomputing in the United States has slowed. The development of the Earth Simulator …[more]
And Intel is not alone.
There’s something happening in America.
Just look around and you’ll see an amazing story.
The rebirth of the pride that comes from stamping products “Made In America.” The revitalization of American manufacturing.
Companies are choosing to build new factories here, when just a few years ago, they would have built them overseas.
That’s what is happening. Ford is investing $11 billion to build electric vehicles, creating 11,000 jobs across the country.
GM is making the largest investment in its history—$7 billion to build electric vehicles, creating 4,000 jobs in Michigan. All told, we created 369,000 new manufacturing jobs in America just last year.
Topology optimization is a digital method for designing objects in order to achieve the best structural performance, sometimes in combination with other physical requirements. Topology optimization tools use mathematical algorithms, such as the finite element method and gradient computation, to …[more]
Advances in materials science and engineering play a crucial role in supporting the U.S. economy and national security. To maintain its leading edge in the field, the United States relies on a rich and diverse innovation ecosystem encompassing industry, academic institutions, and government …[more]
Powered by people I’ve met like JoJo Burgess, from generations of union steelworkers from Pittsburgh, who’s here with us tonight.
As Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown says, “It’s time to bury the label “Rust Belt.”
But with all the bright spots in our economy, record job growth and higher wages, too many families are struggling to keep up with the bills.
Inflation is robbing them of the gains they might otherwise feel.
I get it. That’s why my top priority is getting prices under control.
Look, our economy roared back faster than most predicted, but the pandemic meant that businesses had a hard time hiring enough workers to keep up production in their factories.
The pandemic also disrupted global supply chains.
When factories close, it takes longer to make goods and get them from the warehouse to the store, and prices go up.
Look at cars.
Last year, there weren’t enough semiconductors to make all the cars that people wanted to buy.
And guess what, prices of automobiles went up.
So—we have a choice.
One way to fight inflation is to drive down wages and make Americans poorer.
I have a better plan to fight inflation.
Lower your costs, not your wages.
Make more cars and semiconductors in America.
More infrastructure and innovation in America.
More goods moving faster and cheaper in America.
More jobs where you can earn a good living in America.
And instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America.
Economists call it “increasing the productive capacity of our economy.”
I call it building a better America.
My plan to fight inflation will lower your costs and lower the deficit.
17 Nobel laureates in economics say my plan will ease long-term inflationary pressures. Top business leaders and most Americans support my plan. And here’s the plan:
First – cut the cost of prescription drugs. Just look at insulin. One in ten Americans has diabetes. In Virginia, I met a 13-year-old boy named Joshua Davis.
He and his Dad both have Type 1 diabetes, which means they need insulin every day. Insulin costs about $10 a vial to make.
But drug companies charge families like Joshua and his Dad up to 30 times more. I spoke with Joshua’s mom.
Imagine what it’s like to look at your child who needs insulin and have no idea how you’re going to pay for it.
What it does to your dignity, your ability to look your child in the eye, to be the parent you expect to be.
Joshua is here with us tonight. Yesterday was his birthday. Happy birthday, buddy.
For Joshua, and for the 200,000 other young people with Type 1 diabetes, let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month so everyone can afford it. Drug companies will still do very well. And while we’re at it let Medicare negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, like the VA already does.
Thanks to remarkable advances in modern health care attributable to science, engineering, and medicine, it is now possible to cure or manage illnesses that were long deemed untreatable. At the same time, however, the United States is facing the vexing challenge of a seemingly uncontrolled rise …[more]
Look, the American Rescue Plan is helping millions of families on Affordable Care Act plans save $2,400 a year on their health care premiums. Let’s close the coverage gap and make those savings permanent.
Second – cut energy costs for families an average of $500 a year by combatting climate change.
Let’s provide investments and tax credits to weatherize your homes and businesses to be energy efficient and you get a tax credit;
Double America’s clean energy production in solar, wind, and so much more.
The world is transforming its energy system from one dominated by fossil fuel combustion to one with net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary anthropogenic greenhouse gas. This energy transition is critical to mitigating climate change, protecting human health, and revitalizing …[more]
Electric power is essential for the lives and livelihoods of all Americans, and the need for electricity that is safe, clean, affordable, and reliable will only grow in the decades to come. At the request of Congress and the Department of Energy, the National Academies convened a committee of …[more]
Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …[more]
Electricity, supplied reliably and affordably, is foundational to the U.S. economy and is utterly indispensable to modern society. However, emissions resulting from many forms of electricity generation create environmental risks that could have significant negative economic, security, and human …[more]
Lower the price of electric vehicles, saving you another $80 a month because you’ll never have to pay at the gas pump again.
From daily commutes to cross-country road trips, millions of light-duty vehicles are on the road every day. The transportation sector is one of the United States’ largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel is an important cost for drivers. The period from 2025-2035 could bring the …[more]
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks, motor coaches, and transit buses – collectively, “medium- and heavy-duty vehicles”, or MHDVs – are used in every sector of the economy. The fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of MHDVs have become a focus of legislative and regulatory action in the past …[more]
In the past few years, interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has grown. Advances in battery and other technologies, new federal standards for carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel economy, state zero-emission-vehicle requirements, and the current administration’s goal of putting millions of …[more]
The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) promise to contribute to both goals by allowing some miles to be driven on electricity drawn from the grid, with an internal combustion engine that kicks …[more]
Third – cut the cost of child care. Many families pay up to $14,000 a year for child care per child.
Middle-class and working families shouldn’t have to pay more than 7% of their income for care of young children.
My plan will cut the cost in half for most families and help parents, including millions of women, who left the workforce during the pandemic because they couldn’t afford child care, to be able to get back to work.
Children are the foundation of the United States, and supporting them is a key component of building a successful future. However, millions of children face health inequities that compromise their development, well-being, and long-term outcomes, despite substantial scientific evidence about how …[more]
High-quality early care and education for children from birth to kindergarten entry is critical to positive child development and has the potential to generate economic returns, which benefit not only children and their families but society at large. Despite the great promise of early care and …[more]
Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. This provides a critical foundation for lifelong progress, and the adults who provide for the care and the education of young children bear a great responsibility for their health, …[more]
My plan doesn’t stop there. It also includes home and long-term care. More affordable housing. And Pre-K for every 3- and 4-year-old.
All of these will lower costs.
And under my plan, nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay an additional penny in new taxes. Nobody.
The one thing all Americans agree on is that the tax system is not fair. We have to fix it.
I’m not looking to punish anyone. But let’s make sure corporations and the wealthiest Americans start paying their fair share.
Just last year, 55 Fortune 500 corporations earned $40 billion in profits and paid zero dollars in federal income tax.
That’s simply not fair. That’s why I’ve proposed a 15% minimum tax rate for corporations.
We got more than 130 countries to agree on a global minimum tax rate so companies can’t get out of paying their taxes at home by shipping jobs and factories overseas.
That’s why I’ve proposed closing loopholes so the very wealthy don’t pay a lower tax rate than a teacher or a firefighter.
So that’s my plan. It will grow the economy and lower costs for families.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get this done. And while you’re at it, confirm my nominees to the Federal Reserve, which plays a critical role in fighting inflation.
My plan will not only lower costs to give families a fair shot, it will lower the deficit.
The previous Administration not only ballooned the deficit with tax cuts for the very wealthy and corporations, it undermined the watchdogs whose job was to keep pandemic relief funds from being wasted.
But in my administration, the watchdogs have been welcomed back.
We’re going after the criminals who stole billions in relief money meant for small businesses and millions of Americans.
And tonight, I’m announcing that the Justice Department will name a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud.
By the end of this year, the deficit will be down to less than half what it was before I took office.
The only president ever to cut the deficit by more than one trillion dollars in a single year.
Lowering your costs also means demanding more competition.
I’m a capitalist, but capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism.
It’s exploitation—and it drives up prices.
When corporations don’t have to compete, their profits go up, your prices go up, and small businesses and family farmers and ranchers go under.
We see it happening with ocean carriers moving goods in and out of America.
During the pandemic, these foreign-owned companies raised prices by as much as 1,000% and made record profits.
Tonight, I’m announcing a crackdown on these companies overcharging American businesses and consumers.
And as Wall Street firms take over more nursing homes, quality in those homes has gone down and costs have gone up.
That ends on my watch.
Medicare is going to set higher standards for nursing homes and make sure your loved ones get the care they deserve and expect. We’ll also cut costs and keep the economy going strong by giving workers a fair shot, provide more training and apprenticeships, hire them based on their skills not degrees.
Skilled technical occupations—defined as occupations that require a high level of knowledge in a technical domain but do not require a bachelor’s degree for entry—are a key component of the U.S. economy. In response to globalization and advances in science and technology, American firms …[more]
During the period 1990 to 2010, U.S. job growth occurred primarily in the high-skilled and low-skilled sectors. Yet, one-third of projected job growth for the period 2010-2020 will require middle-skilled workers — who will earn strong middle-class wages and salaries — important to both the …[more]
Let’s pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and paid leave.
Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and extend the Child Tax Credit, so no one has to raise a family in poverty.
The strengths and abilities children develop from infancy through adolescence are crucial for their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, which in turn help them to achieve success in school and to become responsible, economically self-sufficient, and healthy adults. Capable, responsible, …[more]
Let’s increase Pell Grants and increase our historic support of HBCUs, and invest in what Jill—our First Lady who teaches full-time—calls America’s best-kept secret: community colleges.
There are over 20 million young people of color in the United States whose representation in STEM education pathways and in the STEM workforce is still far below their numbers in the general population. Their participation could help re-establish the United States’ preeminence in STEM …[more]
Nearly 40 percent of the students entering 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions indicated their intention to major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in 2012. But the barriers to students realizing their ambitions are reflected in the fact that about half of those …[more]
Community colleges play an important role in starting students on the road to engineering careers, but students often face obstacles in transferring to four-year educational institutions to continue their education. Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers, a new book …[more]
And let’s pass the PRO Act when a majority of workers want to form a union—they shouldn’t be stopped.
When we invest in our workers, when we build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out together, we can do something we haven’t done in a long time: build a better America.
For more than two years, COVID-19 has impacted every decision in our lives and the life of the nation.
And I know you’re tired, frustrated, and exhausted.
But I also know this.
Because of the progress we’ve made, because of your resilience and the tools we have, tonight I can say we are moving forward safely, back to more normal routines.
We’ve reached a new moment in the fight against COVID-19, with severe cases down to a level not seen since last July.
Just a few days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the CDC—issued new mask guidelines.
Under these new guidelines, most Americans in most of the country can now be mask free.
And based on the projections, more of the country will reach that point across the next couple of weeks.
Thanks to the progress we have made this past year, COVID-19 need no longer control our lives.
I know some are talking about “living with COVID-19”. Tonight – I say that we will never just accept living with COVID-19.
We will continue to combat the virus as we do other diseases. And because this is a virus that mutates and spreads, we will stay on guard.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the world’s preparedness for a respiratory virus event. While the world has been combating COVID-19, seasonal and pandemic influenza remain imminent global health threats. Non-vaccine public health control measures can combat emerging and ongoing influenza …[more]
The world continues to grapple with the profound and unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which by January 2021 had infected more than 90 million people worldwide and taken over 1.9 million lives. The crisis quickly mobilized action by universities, industry, and federal, state, and …[more]
In November 2018, an ad hoc planning committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine planned two sister workshops held in Washington, DC, to examine the lessons from influenza pandemics and other major outbreaks, understand the extent to which the lessons have been …[more]
Here are four common sense steps as we move forward safely.
First, stay protected with vaccines and treatments. We know how incredibly effective vaccines are. If you’re vaccinated and boosted you have the highest degree of protection.
We will never give up on vaccinating more Americans. Now, I know parents with kids under 5 are eager to see a vaccine authorized for their children.
The scientists are working hard to get that done and we’ll be ready with plenty of vaccines when they do.
Effective communication is needed to ensure shared understanding of how well COVID-19 vaccines work and whether they are being equitably distributed. Without clear, consistent, readily accessible communications, people may lose faith in the vaccines and in those providing them. State, tribal, …[more]
In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the societal disruption it has brought, national governments and the international community have invested billions of dollars and immense amounts of human resources to develop a safe and effective vaccine in an unprecedented …[more]
We’re also ready with anti-viral treatments. If you get COVID-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90%.
We’ve ordered more of these pills than anyone in the world. And Pfizer is working overtime to get us 1 Million pills this month and more than double that next month.
And we’re launching the “Test to Treat” initiative so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost.
If you’re immunocompromised or have some other vulnerability, we have treatments and free high-quality masks.
We’re leaving no one behind or ignoring anyone’s needs as we move forward.
And on testing, we have made hundreds of millions of tests available for you to order for free.
Even if you already ordered free tests tonight, I am announcing that you can order more from covidtests.gov starting next week. Second – we must prepare for new variants. Over the past year, we’ve gotten much better at detecting new variants.
The global response to COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of vigilance and preparedness for infectious diseases, particularly influenza. There is a need for more effective influenza vaccines and modern manufacturing technologies that are adaptable and scalable to meet demand during a …[more]
In December 2019, new cases of severe pneumonia were first detected in Wuhan, China, and the cause was determined to be a novel beta coronavirus related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus that emerged from a bat reservoir in 2002. Within six months, this new virus—SARS …[more]
If necessary, we’ll be able to deploy new vaccines within 100 days instead of many more months or years.
And, if Congress provides the funds we need, we’ll have new stockpiles of tests, masks, and pills ready if needed.
Over the past several decades, supply chain disruptions have repeatedly plagued the U.S. health care system, costing health care systems millions of dollars per year, threatening the clinical research enterprise, and most importantly, imperiling the health and lives of patients. The Committee on …[more]
Influenza viruses, both seasonal and pandemic, have the potential to disrupt the health and well-being of populations around the world. The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and prior public health emergencies of international concern illustrate the importance of global preparedness and …[more]
I cannot promise a new variant won’t come. But I can promise you we’ll do everything within our power to be ready if it does.
Third – we can end the shutdown of schools and businesses. We have the tools we need.
It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again. People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated recession have significantly affected women’s workforce participation. These impacts have varied from job loss to additional caregiving responsibilities. Black and Hispanic women have been particularly affected, bringing into sharp relief historical …[more]
The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the global economy and significantly shifting workforce demand, requiring quick, adaptive responses. The pandemic has revealed the vulnerabilities of many organizations and regional economies, and it has accelerated trends that could lead to significant …[more]
The spring of 2020 marked a change in how almost everyone conducted their personal and professional lives, both within science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global scientific conferences and individual laboratories and …[more]
We’re doing that here in the federal government. The vast majority of federal workers will once again work in person.
Our schools are open. Let’s keep it that way. Our kids need to be in school.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the nation’s K-12 education system. The rush to slow the spread of the virus led to closures of schools across the country, with little time to ensure continuity of instruction or to create a framework for deciding when and how to …[more]
The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in widespread and ongoing changes to how the K-12 education system functions, including disruptions to science teaching and learning environments. Students and teachers are all figuring out how to do schooling differently, and districts and states are working …[more]
And with 75% of adult Americans fully vaccinated and hospitalizations down by 77%, most Americans can remove their masks, return to work, stay in the classroom, and move forward safely.
We achieved this because we provided free vaccines, treatments, tests, and masks.
Of course, continuing this costs money.
I will soon send Congress a request.
The vast majority of Americans have used these tools and may want to again, so I expect Congress to pass it quickly.
Fourth, we will continue vaccinating the world.
We’ve sent 475 Million vaccine doses to 112 countries, more than any other nation. And we won’t stop.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the fragility of the global system of preparedness and response to pandemics and the fragmentation of our research and development ecosystem. The pandemic has provided a disruptive moment to advance new norms and frameworks for influenza. It also has …[more]
We have lost so much to COVID-19. Time with one another. And worst of all, so much loss of life.
Let’s use this moment to reset. Let’s stop looking at COVID-19 as a partisan dividing line and see it for what it is: A God-awful disease.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating health and economic impacts in the United States, communities of color, especially Black communities, have been disproportionately affected. On June 23, 2020, the Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine of the …[more]
Let’s stop seeing each other as enemies, and start seeing each other for who we really are: Fellow Americans.
We can’t change how divided we’ve been. But we can change how we move forward—on COVID-19 and other issues we must face together.
I recently visited the New York City Police Department days after the funerals of Officer Wilbert Mora and his partner, Officer Jason Rivera.
They were responding to a 9-1-1 call when a man shot and killed them with a stolen gun.
Officer Mora was 27 years old.
Officer Rivera was 22.
Both Dominican Americans who’d grown up on the same streets they later chose to patrol as police officers.
I spoke with their families and told them that we are forever in debt for their sacrifice, and we will carry on their mission to restore the trust and safety every community deserves.
I’ve worked on these issues a long time.
I know what works: Investing in crime prevention and community police officers who’ll walk the beat, who’ll know the neighborhood, and who can restore trust and safety.
So let’s not abandon our streets. Or choose between safety and equal justice.
Let’s come together to protect our communities, restore trust, and hold law enforcement accountable.
That’s why the Justice Department required body cameras, banned chokeholds, and restricted no-knock warrants for its officers.
That’s why the American Rescue Plan provided $350 Billion that cities, states, and counties can use to hire more police and invest in proven strategies like community violence interruption—trusted messengers breaking the cycle of violence and trauma and giving young people hope.
On March 22-23, 2021, an ad hoc planning committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Science, Technology, and Law hosted a virtual workshop titled The Science of Implicit Bias: Implications for Law and Policy. Implicit bias has …[more]
Proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. It developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that began to emerge in the 1960s because of social unrest, rising crime rates, and growing skepticism …[more]
Because police are the most visible face of government power for most citizens, they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial. Producing justice through the fair, and restrained use of their authority. The standards by which the public judges police success have …[more]
We should all agree: The answer is not to Defund the police. The answer is to FUND the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.
I ask Democrats and Republicans alike: Pass my budget and keep our neighborhoods safe.
And I will keep doing everything in my power to crack down on gun trafficking and ghost guns you can buy online and make at home—they have no serial numbers and can’t be traced.
And I ask Congress to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence. Pass universal background checks. Why should anyone on a terrorist list be able to purchase a weapon?
Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued.
These laws don’t infringe on the Second Amendment. They save lives.
The most fundamental right in America is the right to vote – and to have it counted. And it’s under assault.
In state after state, new laws have been passed, not only to suppress the vote, but to subvert entire elections.
We cannot let this happen.
Tonight. I call on the Senate to: Pass the Freedom to Vote Act. Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. And while you’re at it, pass the Disclose Act so Americans can know who is funding our elections.
During the 2016 presidential election, America’s election infrastructure was targeted by actors sponsored by the Russian government. Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, assesses current technology and standards for …[more]
Tonight, I’d like to honor someone who has dedicated his life to serve this country: Justice Stephen Breyer—an Army veteran, Constitutional scholar, and retiring Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Justice Breyer, thank you for your service.
One of the most serious constitutional responsibilities a President has is nominating someone to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
And I did that 4 days ago, when I nominated Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. One of our nation’s top legal minds, who will continue Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence.
A former top litigator in private practice. A former federal public defender. And from a family of public school educators and police officers. A consensus builder. Since she’s been nominated, she’s received a broad range of support—from the Fraternal Order of Police to former judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans.
And if we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure the Border and fix the immigration system.
We can do both. At our border, we’ve installed new technology like cutting-edge scanners to better detect drug smuggling.
We’ve set up joint patrols with Mexico and Guatemala to catch more human traffickers.
We’re putting in place dedicated immigration judges so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster.
We’re securing commitments and supporting partners in South and Central America to host more refugees and secure their own borders.
We can do all this while keeping lit the torch of liberty that has led generations of immigrants to this land—my forefathers and so many of yours.
Provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers.
Revise our laws so businesses have the workers they need and families don’t wait decades to reunite.
It’s not only the right thing to do—it’s the economically smart thing to do.
That’s why immigration reform is supported by everyone from labor unions to religious leaders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Let’s get it done once and for all.
The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, and the country has a long history of successfully absorbing people from across the globe. The integration of immigrants and their children contributes to our economic vitality and our vibrant and ever changing culture. We have …[more]
The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration finds that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small, and that any negative impacts are most likely to be found for prior immigrants or native-born high school dropouts. …[more]
Advancing liberty and justice also requires protecting the rights of women.
The constitutional right affirmed in Roe v. Wade—standing precedent for half a century—is under attack as never before.
If we want to go forward—not backward—we must protect access to health care. Preserve a woman’s right to choose. And let’s continue to advance maternal health care in America.
The United States faces an alarmingly high rate of maternal morbidity and mortality, distinguishing it from other high-income countries that have achieved decreases in these rates in recent years. U.S. maternal morbidity and mortality rates are disproportionate across racial, ethnic, …[more]
The delivery of high quality and equitable care for both mothers and newborns is complex and requires efforts across many sectors. The United States spends more on childbirth than any other country in the world, yet outcomes are worse than other high-resource countries, and even worse for Black …[more]
Women suffer disproportionate rates of chronic disease and disability from some conditions, and often have high out-of-pocket health care costs. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) provides the United States with an opportunity to reduce existing health …[more]
Abortion is a legal medical procedure that has been provided to millions of American women. Since the Institute of Medicine first reviewed the health implications of national legalized abortion in 1975, there has been a plethora of related scientific research, including well-designed randomized …[more]
And for our LGBTQ+ Americans, let’s finally get the bipartisan Equality Act to my desk. The onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families is wrong.
The increase in prevalence and visibility of sexually gender diverse (SGD) populations illuminates the need for greater understanding of the ways in which current laws, systems, and programs affect their well-being. Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, …[more]
To better understand the inequalities facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth and the promising interventions being used to address these inequalities, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Children, Youth, and Families hosted a …[more]
As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I will always have your back as your President, so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential.
While it often appears that we never agree, that isn’t true. I signed 80 bipartisan bills into law last year. From preventing government shutdowns to protecting Asian-Americans from still-too-common hate crimes to reforming military justice.
And soon, we’ll strengthen the Violence Against Women Act that I first wrote three decades ago. It is important for us to show the nation that we can come together and do big things.
So tonight I’m offering a Unity Agenda for the Nation. Four big things we can do together.
First, beat the opioid epidemic.
There is so much we can do. Increase funding for prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery.
Get rid of outdated rules that stop doctors from prescribing treatments. And stop the flow of illicit drugs by working with state and local law enforcement to go after traffickers.
The opioid crisis in the United States has come about because of excessive use of these drugs for both legal and illicit purposes and unprecedented levels of consequent opioid use disorder (OUD). More than 2 million people in the United States are estimated to have OUD, which is caused by …[more]
Drug overdose, driven largely by overdose related to the use of opioids, is now the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. The ongoing opioid crisis lies at the intersection of two public health challenges: reducing the burden of suffering from pain and containing the …[more]
If you’re suffering from addiction, know you are not alone. I believe in recovery, and I celebrate the 23 million Americans in recovery.
Second, let’s take on mental health. Especially among our children, whose lives and education have been turned upside down.
Back in School: Addressing the Well-Being of Students in the Wake of COVID-19, a virtual workshop hosted by the National Academy of Sciences’ Forum for Children’s Well-Being on May 20, 25, and 27, 2021, focused on the effects of COVID-19 on the intersection of students’ learning and mental …[more]
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges in the early care and education (ECE) sector, including: preexisting structural flaws; insufficient funding mechanisms; sector fragmentation; inadequate support for the workforce; and inequalities, such as the lack of access to high-quality care …[more]
COVID-19, along with heightened racial trauma, has caused unprecedented disruption in the lives of youth aged 10-18, leading them to experience increases in mental health concerns. Addressing these negative impacts requires that education leaders, school districts, state and local decision …[more]
The American Rescue Plan gave schools money to hire teachers and help students make up for lost learning.
I urge every parent to make sure your school does just that. And we can all play a part—sign up to be a tutor or a mentor.
Children were also struggling before the pandemic. Bullying, violence, trauma, and the harms of social media.
Adolescence—beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s—is a critical period of development during which key areas of the brain mature and develop. These changes in brain structure, function, and connectivity mark adolescence as a period of opportunity to discover new …[more]
Healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) development is a critical foundation for a productive adulthood. Much is known about strategies to support families and communities in strengthening the MEB development of children and youth, by promoting healthy development and also by preventing …[more]
Bullying has long been tolerated as a rite of passage among children and adolescents. There is an implication that individuals who are bullied must have “asked for” this type of treatment, or deserved it. Sometimes, even the child who is bullied begins to internalize this idea. For many years, …[more]
As Frances Haugen, who is here with us tonight, has shown, we must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they’re conducting on our children for profit.
It’s time to strengthen privacy protections, ban targeted advertising to children, demand tech companies stop collecting personal data on our children.
And let’s get all Americans the mental health services they need. More people they can turn to for help, and full parity between physical and mental health care.
The Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a virtual workshop, Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in the Era of COVID-19: With a Special Focus on the Impact of the Pandemic on Communities of Color, on …[more]
Student wellbeing is foundational to academic success. One recent survey of postsecondary educators found that nearly 80 percent believed emotional wellbeing is a “very” or “extremely” important factor in student success. Studies have found the dropout rates for students with a diagnosed mental …[more]
Over the past decade, providers, policy makers, and stakeholders across a range of disciplines have taken various approaches to addressing the rising incidence of mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health concerns in children and adults. With the recent opioid crisis affecting young people …[more]
Estimates indicate that as many as 1 in 4 Americans will experience a mental health problem or will misuse alcohol or drugs in their lifetimes. These disorders are among the most highly stigmatized health conditions in the United States, and they remain barriers to full participation in society …[more]
Third, support our veterans.
Veterans are the best of us.
I’ve always believed that we have a sacred obligation to equip all those we send to war and care for them and their families when they come home.
My administration is providing assistance with job training and housing, and now helping lower-income veterans get VA care debt-free.
Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan faced many dangers.
One was stationed at bases and breathing in toxic smoke from “burn pits” that incinerated wastes of war—medical and hazard material, jet fuel, and more.
When they came home, many of the world’s fittest and best trained warriors were never the same.
Headaches. Numbness. Dizziness.
A cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin.
One of those soldiers was my son Major Beau Biden.
We don’t know for sure if a burn pit was the cause of his brain cancer, or the diseases of so many of our troops.
But I’m committed to finding out everything we can.
Committed to military families like Danielle Robinson from Ohio.
The widow of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson.
He was born a soldier. Army National Guard. Combat medic in Kosovo and Iraq.
Stationed near Baghdad, just yards from burn pits the size of football fields.
Heath’s widow Danielle is here with us tonight. They loved going to Ohio State football games. He loved building Legos with their daughter.
But cancer from prolonged exposure to burn pits ravaged Heath’s lungs and body.
Danielle says Heath was a fighter to the very end.
He didn’t know how to stop fighting, and neither did she.
Through her pain she found purpose to demand we do better.
Tonight, Danielle—we are.
The VA is pioneering new ways of linking toxic exposures to diseases, already helping more veterans get benefits.
And tonight, I’m announcing we’re expanding eligibility to veterans suffering from nine respiratory cancers.
I’m also calling on Congress: pass a law to make sure veterans devastated by toxic exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan finally get the benefits and comprehensive health care they deserve.
The U.S. military has been continuously engaged in foreign conflicts for over two decades. The strains that these deployments, the associated increases in operational tempo, and the general challenges of military life affect not only service members but also the people who depend on them and who …[more]
Many veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have health problems they believe are related to their exposure to the smoke from the burning of waste in open-air “burn pits” on military bases. Particular controversy surrounds the burn pit used to dispose of solid waste at …[more]
Military operations produce a great deal of trash in an environment where standard waste management practices may be subordinated to more pressing concerns. As a result, ground forces have long relied on incineration in open-air pits as a means of getting rid of refuse. Concerns over possible …[more]
More than 2 decades have passed since the 1990-1991 conflict in the Persian Gulf. During the intervening years, many Gulf War veterans have experienced various unexplained symptoms that many associate with service in the gulf region, but no specific exposure has been definitively associated with …[more]
And fourth, let’s end cancer as we know it.
This is personal to me and Jill, to Kamala, and to so many of you.
Cancer is the #2 cause of death in America – second only to heart disease.
Last month, I announced our plan to supercharge the Cancer Moonshot that President Obama asked me to lead six years ago.
Our goal is to cut the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years, turn more cancers from death sentences into treatable diseases.
More support for patients and families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic adjustments in cancer care delivery and cancer research. To examine these changes, the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a virtual workshop, Innovation in Cancer Care and Cancer …[more]
New technologies and improved understanding of the genesis and progression of various cancers have added to the enthusiasm for potential new strategies to improve screening and early detection of cancer. Research is also under way to evaluate refinements in current screening approaches, …[more]
In an era of promising advances in cancer research, there are considerable and even alarming gaps in the fundamental knowledge and understanding of ovarian cancer. Researchers now know that ovarian cancer is not a single disease–several distinct subtypes exist with different origins, risk …[more]
In the United States, approximately 14 million people have had cancer and more than 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed each year. However, more than a decade after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) first studied the quality of cancer care, the barriers to achieving excellent care for all cancer …[more]
To get there, I call on Congress to fund ARPA-H, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.
It’s based on DARPA—the Defense Department project that led to the Internet, GPS, and so much more.
ARPA-H will have a singular purpose—to drive breakthroughs in cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and more.
A unity agenda for the nation.
We can do this.
My fellow Americans—tonight , we have gathered in a sacred space—the citadel of our democracy.
In this Capitol, generation after generation, Americans have debated great questions amid great strife, and have done great things.
We have fought for freedom, expanded liberty, defeated totalitarianism and terror.
And built the strongest, freest, and most prosperous nation the world has ever known.
Now is the hour.
Our moment of responsibility.
Our test of resolve and conscience, of history itself.
It is in this moment that our character is formed. Our purpose is found. Our future is forged.
Well I know this nation.
We will meet the test.
To protect freedom and liberty, to expand fairness and opportunity.
We will save democracy.
As hard as these times have been, I am more optimistic about America today than I have been my whole life.
Because I see the future that is within our grasp.
Because I know there is simply nothing beyond our capacity.
We are the only nation on Earth that has always turned every crisis we have faced into an opportunity.
The only nation that can be defined by a single word: possibilities.
So on this night, in our 245th year as a nation, I have come to report on the State of the Union.
And my report is this: the State of the Union is strong—because you, the American people, are strong.
We are stronger today than we were a year ago.
And we will be stronger a year from now than we are today.
Now is our moment to meet and overcome the challenges of our time.
And we will, as one people.
The United States of America.
May God bless you all. May God protect our troops.