Opinion

Biden on his first major address to the nation

Atalayar_Joe Biden

The US president reaches his 50th day as head of the United States. And it is time to stop the machines and address the country at prime time, eight o'clock in the evening on the West Coast, in order to headline the major television news programmes. It will be the first time the President has taken the floor from the Oval Office to address a nation that is doing its homework, and watching proudly as everyone responds to the challenge of the pandemic. It is now precisely one year since the health authorities declared a global pandemic.

The broader figures for the situation in the US bear out for the country Biden will address tonight. More than half a million people have died in the United States, one of the hardest hit in terms of both deaths and number of infections. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccination campaign is reaching astonishing levels of penetration, surpassing even Israel, the country that is surprising the world with its reliability in immunising the population. One hundred million more doses will be purchased from Johnson & Johnson so that what we Europeans are suffering from does not happen, vaccinations that have been halted and reversed due to nefarious political management.

The economy has fallen by 3.5% in the year of the pandemic, the worst figure since the victory in the Second World War. The generous watering down of the nearly two trillion dollar plan just passed in the House of Representatives confirms that all resources have been put into the recovery. Citizens are now receiving individual family cheques in a plan of direct aid, not to companies or businesses as in Europe and Spain, but to family units. Up to 400 billion dollars will circulate through this procedure so that the economy does not grind to a halt and no one is really left behind, without false slogans or false realities. Schools, for their part, will receive an additional 126 billion in order to be able to reopen and provide uninterrupted education. No interventionism when there are no emergencies, but firm decisions to save the country when unforeseen events occur. An admirable country, this is the one Biden is addressing tonight, in all the extremes we want to analyse.

It is easy to imagine the pace of the President's first fifty days in the White House. Nothing like the sleepy Joe that the now pre-retired Donald Trump ridiculously painted during the campaign. He has also taken his first steps in foreign policy, with important warnings to China and Iran, including bombings. The mandate is off to a hyperactive start, responding to Biden's desire to break with the previous stage and to draw a veil of hope over half of the American population, given that the other half seems more or less loyal to the Republican and his ways. Next week will see his administration's first high-level meeting with Beijing, with Anthony Blinken leading the way in a meeting that will take place in the Alaskan state capital of Anchorage. We will begin to get a glimpse of how stormy the relationship with the Asian giant will be in key aspects of international relations.