US President, Joe Biden has marked his 100th day in office with his first address to a joint session of Congress,;telling Americans that the country is “moving forward” again, after the coronavirus pandemic claimed;hundreds of thousands of lives and crippled the economy.
Touting his achievements, the President revealed that in the first 100 days of his office,;his administration created more than 1.3 million new jobs. This, according to him, is more than any president on record in their first 100 days in office.
“After just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again. Turning peril into possibility, crisis into opportunity, setback into strength”.
Biden also assessed the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 574,000 Americans.
He intimated that when he took office, “America’s house was on fire – we had to act”.
After a promise of 100 million vaccine doses in 100 days,;Biden said there had instead been more than 220 million.
He added that when he took office, less than 1% of senior citizens were fully vaccinated, but now that figure was nearly 70%.
“There’s still more work to do to beat this virus. We can’t let our guard down now.
“But tonight, I can say because of you – the American people – our progress these past 100 days;against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen.
‘Competition’ with China welcome
Addressing his administration’s foreign policy during the speech, President Biden issued warnings to China, Russia and North Korea. The President singled out China in a call for “every nation to play by the same rules in the global economy”.
“In my discussion with President Xi, I told him that we welcome the competition;and that we are not looking for conflict.
“But I made absolutely clear that I will defend American interests across the board. America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and industries, like subsidies for state-owned enterprises and the theft of American technologies and intellectual property.
“I also told President Xi that we will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo-Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe – not to start conflict – but to prevent conflict.
“And, I told him what I’ve said to many world leaders – that America won’t back away from our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Regarding Russia, Biden revealed that he has “made it very clear to President Vladimir Putin that while we don’t seek escalation, their actions have consequences.”
However, he said that the two countries could work together where possible, on issues such as climate change.
The US President also said the nuclear programmes in Iran and North Korea present a “serious threat” to US and world security. He stated that the US would be “working closely with our allies to address the threats posed by both of these countries through diplomacy and stern deterrence”.