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Biden to deliver prime-time address Thursday, marking first anniversary of virus restrictions

President Biden, joined by Vice President Harris, talks to reporters after speaking in the State Dining Room of the White House on Saturday. (Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post)
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President Biden will deliver a prime-time address on Thursday to commemorate the first anniversary of the coronavirus “shutdown” and to talk about the role “Americans will play in beating the virus,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Monday.

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The address is part of a busy week of events focused on the coronavirus as Congress nears final passage of a $1.9 trillion relief bill. On Monday, Biden visited a veterans’ medical center in Washington that is administering coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) said Monday that he won’t seek reelection next year, becoming the fifth Republican senator to announce retirement plans.

Here’s what to know:

  • The Dow Jones industrial average soared nearly 600 points by midday Monday following news that the Senate had passed Biden’s relief package and that he is on track to sign it this week.
  • On International Women’s Day, Biden signed a pair of executive orders. One directs the Education Department to review a controversial regulation governing how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault. The other establishes the White House Gender Policy Council.
  • Biden on Sunday signed an executive order aimed at promoting voting rights amid a push by Republican-led state legislatures to roll back voting access in the wake of former president Donald Trump’s 2020 loss and baseless effort to cast doubt on the integrity of U.S. elections.
  • Worried that Afghan peace talks are going nowhere, and facing a May 1 deadline for the possible withdrawal of all U.S. troops, the Biden administration has proposed sweeping plans for an interim power-sharing government between the Taliban and Afghan leaders.
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