New CDC COVID-19 Guidelines Discard Mask Mandate in Time for State of the Union Attendees
Republican Senator Marco Rubio is leading a protest of sorts by refusing to attend tonight’s State of the Union address because of a requirement that visitors take a Covid-19 test beforehand. “I don’t have time to go take a COVID test today,” I have told HuffPost. “I only take a test if I’m sick.” Others considering not attending include his fellow Senate Floridian Rick Scott, who says he might not attend because “I don’t want to feel so obligated to stand up and say, ‘That’s a lie.’”
Mr Biden is set to use the speech to promote a united response by the US and its allies against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
NBC News reports that the White House has been reworking the president’s remarks to more heavily emphasize the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the assault on Kyiv grows, but domestic policies will also feature including a plea to Congress to pass elements of the Build Back Better plan.
Press secretary Jen Psaki told MSNBC: “Every State of the Union address is an opportunity for the president delivering it to speak directly to the American people about what is happening in that moment, the progress being made and also the challenges we’re facing. ”
She added: “Certainly, what we’re seeing on the ground in Ukraine, the fact that the president has built a coalition of countries around the world to stand up against Russia and Putin and put in crippling sanctions, that is part of what people will hear.”
Stay tuned for the latest updates.
Biden Address preview: ‘Putin was wrong. We were ready’
In an excerpt of his State of the Union Address released by the White House, President Biden addresses the conflict in Ukraine.
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 22:34
Growing list of Republicans not attending speech
The mandate that lawmakers must test negative for Covid-19 in order to attend the State of the Union has unsurprisingly caused a number of Republican lawmakers to announce they will not attend.
Several Republican lawmakers have said they will not attend President Biden’s Tuesday State of the Union address because of the mandated coronavirus testing before the speech.
“I’m healthy, so I won’t be taking a test for COVID… so I won’t be attending the #SOTU,” tweeted Rep Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
Senator Marco Rubio said he didn’t have time to get tested and that he only does when he’s sick, a statement that was quote-tweeted and agreed with by Rep Chip Roy of Texas.
They were joined by Reps Mary Miller of Illinois, Bob Good of Virginia, Matt Rosendale of Montana, and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, according to The Daily Caller.
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 22:26
Roads closed around Capitol
…but Capitol Police note that these are the usual road closures for a State of the Union Address.
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 22:10
Ukrainian flags line Pennsylvania Avenue
In solidarity with Ukraine, the District of Columbia has hung Ukrainian flags along Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the US Capitol — the route President Joe Biden will likely take to deliver tonight’s State of the Union Address.
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 22:00
Biden to speak out against defunding police
President Joe Biden will reportedly talk about fighting a nationwide surge in violent crime, and will again speak against defunding the police.
“He’ll make clear that the answer is not to defund the police, it’s to put more police – with better training and more accountability – out to take back our streets and make our neighborhoods safer,” the official said, adding that the president will “reiterate his call” for Congress to pass “commonsense gun violence legislation that will save lives.”
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 21:52
The trucker protest with no trucks
A trucker rally at the Washington Monument failed to materialize as just a handful of protesters showed up at the event.
The National Parks Service had given permission for the demonstration at the Sylvan Theater and organizers expected several thousand people would rally against Covid-19 mandates.
But in the end there was more press and police at the event than protesters, according to The Daily Beast.
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 21:35
Pelosi ready for message of ’empathy, action, and optimism’
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 21:17
Biden to signal new phase of pandemic
The president believes it is time to learn to live with Covid and begin a new phase of the pandemic, while acknowledging that the virus could come roaring back to life at any moment.
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 21:05
Biden confirms to news anchors focus of Ukraine remarks will be on unity
At his pre-State of the Union lunch with TV anchors, President Biden put one quote on the record about the importance of maintaining the alliance against Vladimir Putin.
The lunch is an annual off the record tradition, but generally there is an effort made to give the media something on the record.
CNN’s Jake Tapper posted that the president was asked whether there is anything that characterizes his speech tonight as it pertains to Ukraine.
Mr Biden responded: “The only thing that I think is important that I’m going to talk about — that I can talk with you because I’ve talked about it before; it’s not news — it is my determination to see to it that the EU, Nato, all of our allies are on the same exact page in terms of sanctions against Russia and how we deal with the invasion — and it is an invasion — of Ukraine. ”
He continued: “Because that’s the one thing that gives us power to impose severe consequences on Putin for what he’s done and one of the few things that I’m confident he’s going to have think twice about, long term, as this continues to bite . So, it’s the unity of Nato and the West.”
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 20:52
Jill Biden will sit with Ukrainian ambassador
According to a guest list released by the White House on Tuesday, Ambassador Oksana Markarova will “join the First Lady in the viewing box,” in an apparent gesture of support for Ukraine as it struggles against a Russian invasion.
Oliver O’Connell1 March 2022 20:40