In State of the Union, Biden will focus on the economy and Russia

Mr. Biden will ask Congress to pass legislation approved by the House of Representatives in December to increase Federal Maritime Commission oversight of the shipping industry.

The president will deliver his remarks without a mask on Tuesday, the same day officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are lifting many Covid restrictions on communities across the country, where cases, hospitalizations and deaths have all fallen.

Officials announced that the mask requirement for vaccinated employees and visitors to the White House will be dropped starting Tuesday, a move that will allow Mr. Biden and the First Lady, Jill Biden, to attend their Union State guests this evening to receive a reception – something that was not allowed under previous rules.

Mr. Biden has fought the pandemic — and its impact on American work and life — since taking office, largely by vaccinating nearly three-quarters of the population. As the effects of the Omicron variant wear off, administration officials have hoped to enter a new phase of the pandemic in which the virus plays a less central role in everyday life.

While the White House is working on a detailed coronavirus response strategy for the next phase of the pandemic, Biden is unlikely to reveal it during his speech. Instead, he’s expected to talk broadly about the coronavirus pandemic, invoking the same “it’s getting better, but we’re not over the hill” tone he’s been using in recent weeks.

A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the president’s remarks, said Mr Biden would “highlight the tremendous strides the country has made over the past 13 months” and Americans Recall that the nation has tools – including vaccines and treatments – to prevent serious illness and treat those who get sick.

Mr. Biden has been criticized for prematurely declaring “independence” from the virus last summer, only to face a fresh wave of infections and deaths later this year from the Delta variant. White House officials are wary of making that mistake again.

As cases fall and the immediate threat subsides, Mr. Biden will also note that the virus is unpredictable and reassure the nation that his administration is taking steps to prepare for future variants.

Sheryl GayStolberg, Ana Schwanson and KatieRogers contributed reporting.

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