• February 26, 2024

Scenes From Biden’s Joint Address Before Congress : NPR

President Joe Biden addresses a joint congressional session on the eve of his 100th day in office, while Vice President Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stand behind him on the podium. Melina Mara / Pool / Getty Images Hide caption

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Melina Mara / Pool / Getty Images

President Joe Biden addresses a joint congressional session on the eve of his 100th day in office, while Vice President Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stand behind him on the podium.

Melina Mara / Pool / Getty Images

President Biden’s address on Wednesday was a novelty night for a modern speech by the President to the legislature Two women break through the barrier behind him the required face coverings and aloof seating arrangements that have become hallmarks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Public health restrictions meant that personal audience was small and far apart, and all special guests invited by the legislature virtually set. And security – already heightened after the January 6 uprising – was tight and access to the Capitol complex was limited Hours in advance.

Biden tells Congress that his government is

The night before from him 100th day In office, Biden described his early successes with an emphasis on the pandemic. threw out his suggestions for overhauling the economy and improving infrastructure, stating that “America is ready for a start.” ((NPR correspondents have fully commented on his address here.)

“Throughout our history, presidents have come to this chamber to speak to Congress, the nation and the world. To declare war, celebrate peace, announce new plans and opportunities,” he said. “Tonight I am talking about crises and opportunities, about rebuilding a nation, reviving our democracy, and winning the future for America.”

Pictures from the chamber of the house capture scenes from the atypical address.

President Biden speaks to an unusually small crowd of lawmakers and government officials during a joint congressional session Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol. Doug Mills / The New York Times / Bloomberg via Getty Images Hide caption

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Doug Mills / The New York Times / Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden speaks to an unusually small crowd of lawmakers and government officials during a joint congressional session Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.

Doug Mills / The New York Times / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The seats were due to the smaller than usual amount. While the event has drawn up to 1,600 lawmakers and senior officials in the past, only about 200 people were in attendance on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump spoke to lawmakers on February 4, 2020 in his final State of the Union address. Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images hide the caption

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Almond Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump spoke to lawmakers on February 4, 2020 in his final State of the Union address.

Almond Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

It is a marked departure from the last such address when former President Donald Trump delivered his last speech on the state of the Union to a fully occupied chamber last February – just as the US was recording its speech very first cases from COVID-19.

Legislators took their socially distant seats before the joint session began. Hide caption Caroline Brehman / CQ Appeal / Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Caroline Brehman / CQ Appeal / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Legislators took their socially distant seats before the joint session began.

Caroline Brehman / CQ Appeal / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Legislators sat several seats apart in order to comply with social distancing protocols. Guidance Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discourages large-scale events and recommends that individuals keep a distance of six feet from anyone outside their household.

President Biden pokes members of Congress with his fist when he arrives at the US Capitol to deliver his joint address. Jim Watson / POOL / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Jim Watson / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

President Biden pokes members of Congress with his fist when he arrives at the US Capitol to deliver his joint address.

Jim Watson / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Punches were the greeting of choice on Wednesday evening. Legislators greeted each other – and President Biden – with knuckles outstretched as they walked to their seats.

Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey (center), wears a protective mask when he drives through the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night. Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images Hide caption

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Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey (center), wears a protective mask when he drives through the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night.

Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Members of Congress wore masks as needed, some more plain than others. President Biden wore a mask as he moved through the chamber, but removed it while he was delivering his more than an hour long speech.

Members of Congress wore masks as they listened to the president’s address, which included discussion of systemic racism, police reform, and hate crime legislation. Jim Watson / Pool via AP hide caption

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Jim Watson / Pool via AP

Members of Congress wore masks as they listened to the president’s address, which included discussion of systemic racism, police reform, and hate crime legislation.

Jim Watson / Pool via AP

Vice President Harris, left, greeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In a historic premiere, the two California Democrats were sitting behind Biden when he submitted his address. Jim Watson / AFP / Bloomberg via Getty Images Hide caption

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Jim Watson / AFP / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vice President Harris, left, greets House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In a historic premiere, the two California Democrats were sitting behind Biden when he submitted his address.

Jim Watson / AFP / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vice President Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided on an elbow bump when they gathered at the podium to break a glass ceiling. Wednesday is the first time a president speaks to the two-woman-flanked Congress, and Biden opened with “Madam Speaker” and “Madam Vice President”.

First Lady Jill Biden (right) and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff – the first person to wear this title – were also in attendance. Doug Mills / The New York Times / Bloomberg via Getty Images Hide caption

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Doug Mills / The New York Times / Bloomberg via Getty Images

First Lady Jill Biden (right) and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff – the first person to wear this title – were also in attendance.

Doug Mills / The New York Times / Bloomberg via Getty Images

And there was one in another major milestone second gentleman in the audience. Harris’ husband Douglas Emhoff is the first to hold the title.

Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, was one of many lawmakers who watched Biden’s address from a distance. Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images Hide caption

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Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, was one of many lawmakers who watched Biden’s address from a distance.

Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Many lawmakers followed the speech from a distance. One of them was Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont., Who was watching the evening on television. He later tweeted the “the most exciting between [Biden’s] Inauguration and his speech tonight are still Bernie’s mittens three month old meme.

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