On Tuesday, President Biden addressed the Intelligence Community for the first time as president, where he visited the headquarters of the Office of National Intelligence in Mclean, Virginia. 

“The main reason I came and I mean this sincerely is to say thank you,” said Biden. 

The President added that many of those who work for the Intelligence Community risk their lives to, “Make sure that families and people back here are safe.” 

Biden stated that the Intelligence Community are the “eyes and ears” around the world and front lines of our national defense. He also made note of how the community serves the American people regardless of which party controls Congress or the Presidency. 

“It’s so vital that you are and should be totally free of any political pressure or partisan interference, it’s basic, and I want to be absolutely clear that my administration is getting back to the basics,” said Biden. 

The President ensured, “I promise you, you will never see the time while I’m president of the United States or my administration, in any way tries to affect or alter your judgments about what you think the situation we face is. I’ll never politicize the work you do, you have my word on that. It’s too important for our country.”  

This statement by the President is seen as a great change, considering the immense amount of criticism former President Trump gave to the Intelligence Community during his four years of presidency. 

I want to make clear to everyone here today and to the members of the Intelligence Community working around the globe that you have my full confidence.

President Joe Biden

The President’s “full confidence” in the Intelligence Community comes as the nation faces many issues and threats against the American people. 

In the wake of recent cyber threats and ransomware attacks from Russia, Biden made clear the nation needs to “position ourselves to stay ahead of the security challenges that will stretch the Intelligence Community in new ways that never been stretched before.” 

Biden stresses how these such attacks are increasingly able to cause great damage and disruption to the real world.

The President made reference to his recent summit with Russian President Vladamir Putin who, “Has a real problem.”  

“He is he sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells, and nothing else. He knows he’s in real trouble, which makes it even more dangerous,” expressed Biden.  

The President also took the time to discuss the problem of disinformation which is making it, “Harder and harder for people to assess the facts, and be able to make decisions.” 

Biden stated, “Look what Russia is doing already about the 2022 elections and misinformation. It’s a pure violation of our sovereignty.” The President sees this as an extreme issue seeing that people get much of their information from the internet.  

He called on the Intelligence Community, telling there is so much “that you all, particularly those of you who are new and coming along, are going to have to be keep up with.” 

Along with security concerns, the President discussed the growing issue of the climate crisis around the world. “Climate challenges are already accelerating instability in our own country and around the world,” said Biden.

He makes note of the issues at hand such as extreme weather events that are more common and more deadly, food and water insecurity, sea levels rising that are resulting in changing climate and driving greater migration and posing fundamental risks to the most vulnerable communities. 

However, along with these pressing issues, the most prevalent issue seems to be the review of the origins of the coronavirus that is underway by the Intelligence Community. 

“More people have been killed in the United States of America because of Covid than in every single major war we fought combined,” yelled Biden. 

President Biden stressed that the Intelligence Community’s value is going to significantly “increase in terms of security.” He added that “There’s a lot going to happen.”  

The President closed his speech by making clear he strongly values the work of the Intelligence Community. 

“So much of the work you do is in secret. That means many times you don’t get credit or the credit you deserve. The things you prevented from happening. The catastrophes you enable us to avoid, the judgments you provided us to make other people safer. And America probably is never going to learn about the lives you’ve saved or the disasters that never come to pass because you’re intelligent professional intelligence work. But I want you to know, I know.”

Biden’s highest priority is the safety and security of all Americans, including those who serve the Intelligence Community. 

The President ended with a heartfelt message stating, “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I thank you for all you do and continue to do it.”

Before the President left the center stage, he addressed a pressing question from the audience stating that the notion of requiring all federal employees to get vaccinated is “under consideration.” 

As the virus seems to get quite bad, yet again, and many blame the population of those unvaccinated, the President stated, “If you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought.” 

Jaala Brown

Jaala Brown is Gen Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today.