US President Joe Biden will lay out the next phase of his administration's arduous fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic during his maiden prime-time address to the nation on Thursday night since assuming office in January.
In his speech, which will also mark the first anniversary of the World Health Organisation's declaration of the pandemic, Biden is likely to talk about the sacrifices made by the American people and the millions of people whose lives have been changed by the pandemic.
The US is the worst-hit nation with over 29,154,600 confirmed cases and more than 529,000 deaths.
He will speak about how COVID-19 has been the greatest operational challenge the country has faced and the work his team has done to rapidly increase the number of vaccinations, vaccinators and vaccinations sites up and running.
He is also expected to lay out the next steps he will take to get the pandemic under control, level with the American people about what is still required to defeat the virus and provide a hopeful vision of what is possible if we all come together.
A day earlier, Biden told reporters at the White House that in his prime-time address, he would talk about what Americans went through as a nation this past year.
“But more importantly, I'm going to talk about what comes next. I'm going to launch the next phase of the COVID response and explain what we will do as a government and what we will ask of the American people,” he said.
“There is light at the end of this dark tunnel of the past year, but we cannot let our guard down now or assume that victory is inevitable. Together, we're going to get through this pandemic and usher in a healthier and more hopeful future. So there is real reason for hope, folks. There's real reason for hope, I promise you,” Biden said.
On Wednesday, Congress approved the president's USD 1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan,” aimed at easing the economic impact of the virus on tens of millions of people.
The WHO waved its first big warning flag on January 30, 2020, by calling the coronavirus outbreak, which first emerged in China's Wuhan city in December, an international health emergency.
Six weeks later on March 11, 2020, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared it a “pandemic” after which most governments took action and imposed travel restrictions.
According to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker, over 118,059,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,620,800 deaths have been reported across the world.