Photo by Lawrence Jackson

During his Thursday night address, President Biden is hoping to “level with Americans” while still providing hope for the future as vaccine efforts ramp-up. 

Tonight, President Biden will deliver his first prime time address recognizing the first anniversary of the first COVID-19 pandemic-induced shutdown. 

“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the shutdown due to COVID-19, and the President will speak directly to the American people about the sacrifices made from the more than 500,000 lives lost to the millions of people who have lost their jobs, and even millions more who have been impacted by the pandemic,” Jen Psaki said during the Press Briefing. 

While the vaccines provide hope for a return of normalcy, they also create one of the country’s greatest operational challenges in history. Biden will speak about this struggle as well as his team’s ambitious and so-far successful vaccination efforts. 

The President said that the U.S will have enough vaccines for all eligible American adults by May and nearly 24% of American adults have received at least one dose. This, along with recently released CDC guidelines approving of vaccinated individuals socializing inside with no safety precautions, indicates that a hopeful and safe future is ahead of the American people.

Biden is also expected to speak on the next steps his administration will take to control the pandemic tearing through the country and will “level with the American people about what is required of them, but also provide a sense of hope of what is possible.” 

With approximately 1,500 Americans still dying every day from COVID-19, the President is carefully drafting his speech to thread the line between hope and caution. After a long and dark year of deaths, job losses, online classes, and mental health crises, Biden is hoping to provide “a sense of hope and what’s possible if we abide by the guidelines.”

This speech comes just days after the White House ordered 100 million more Johnson & Johnson vaccines in case the FDA-approved vaccine can act as a booster shot or if it is proven safe for children to take. 

“Speaking during a prime time address is a moment where you have to, you know — tell a story about and recognize the great sacrifices the American people have been through, and speak with truth and with directness about what is still required, but also provide some hope on what’s ahead,” Psaki said. 

Biden’s speech will air live at 8 p.m EST.