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An optimistic Biden says COVID-19 no longer needs to 'control our lives'

President Biden shared a hopeful message about COVID-19 during his State of the Union address Tuesday, stating that due to the "progress we've made because of your resilience and the tools we have been provided by this Congress, tonight I can say we're moving forward safely back to a more normal routine."

Biden said that for more than two years, COVID-19 has "impacted every decision in our lives and the life of this nation, and I know you're tired, frustrated, and exhausted. That doesn't even count the close to 1 million people who sit at a dining room table or kitchen table and look at an empty chair because they lost somebody." Progress has been made, he continued, due to the "resilience" of Americans and tools like vaccines, masks, and free testing.

"We've reached a new moment in the fight against COVID-19, where severe cases are down to a level not seen since July of last year," Biden said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new mask guidelines that allow "most of the country" to go mask free, the president continued, and based on projections, more of the country  "based on projections, more of the country will reach this point in the next couple of weeks."

COVID-19 no longer needs to "control our lives," Biden said. "I know some are talking about living with COVID-19, but tonight I say that we never will just accept living with COVID-19." The United States will "continue to combat the virus as we do other diseases," he added. "Because this virus mutates and spreads we have to stand guard." He called on Americans to keep getting vaccinated, and said that, along with free testing, will help keep schools and businesses open.

Biden called on the country to "stop looking at Covid as a partisan dividing line. See it for what it is: a god awful disease. Let's stop seeing each other as enemies and start seeing each other for who we are: fellow Americans."