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Biden will set out his imaginative and prescient for a post-Covid world within the first prime-time handle as President

President Joe Biden will deliver a speech in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

Shaw Thew | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden celebrates the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus shutdown Thursday night by remembering American victims and looking to a post-pandemic world.

"I'll talk about what's next," Biden said Wednesday in a preview of what will be his first prime-time address as president. "I'm going to kick off the next phase of the Covid response, explaining what we're doing as a government and what we're going to ask of the American people."

"There is light at the end of this dark tunnel," he said.

Biden will also use the limelight on his 50th day as president to kick off a winning streak after the final passage of his $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief bill in Congress.

He is ready to sign the bill on Friday and go on a nationwide tour next week to announce his government's first major legislative act.

The president will depart Tuesday for Delaware County, Pennsylvania, an electoral state that was key to Biden's victory over former President Donald Trump.

Biden's prime time speech is scheduled for a little after 8 p.m. ET Thursday night and will be broadcast from the East Room of the White House. The address is expected to take less than 20 minutes, a White House official said.

The president will acknowledge the devastating death toll from the pandemic – at least 529,267 dead in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University – as well as the life-changing challenges caused by sudden lockdowns across the country, a White House official said.

Biden is also expected to emphasize his government's efforts to rapidly ramp up the production, acquisition and distribution of Covid vaccines, an unprecedented operational endeavor, the official said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden will "provide some more details" on how the government will fight the virus in the future.

In a comment Wednesday after meeting executives at Johnson & Johnson and Merck, Biden indicated that his prime-time address would bring a message of hope and promise.

But the Democratic president, in sharp contrast to his predecessor, suggested that this optimism should continue to be tempered with caution.

"We cannot give up our vigilance now or assume that victory is inevitable," said Biden on Wednesday. "Together we will weather this pandemic and usher in a healthier, more hopeful future."

"So there is real reason to hope folks," he said.

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