We’re wrapping up this blog for the evening, but you can follow along with the Guardian’s live coverage of Joe Biden’s speech to Congress on our new blog here:

Summary

  • Joe Biden will give his first joint address to Congress tonight. The president will tout accomplishments from his first 100 days in office and directly appeal to working-class voters – selling his economic recovery proposals and their potential to create jobs and boost an economy ravaged by the coronavirus crisis.
  • Tim Scott, a senator of South Carolina, will have the tough job of defending Republicans’ record, more than a year into the pandemic that has left more than half a million dead. With Biden’s spending proposals gaining wide popularity among Republicans and Democrats, Republican lawmakers have been scrambling to pin down their messaging on why they oppose the presidents’ plans.
  • Biden’s speech comes nearly four months after insurrectionists attacked the US capitol. He will speak amid high security around DC.
  • For the first time, two women will be flanking the president during his address. The Speaker of the House and the Vice President are usually the two figures who sit behind the president during such addresses. This year, that’s Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris.
  • Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the apartment of Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, and seized his electronic devices according to multiple reports. The search indicates an escalation of federal investigators’ criminal investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.
  • The Justice Department has announced that three men have been charged with hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Arbery, 25, was chased down and shot last February, while he was out jogging.

The New York Times has a nice report out on the strict security and Covid regulations that are in place tonight for Biden’s speech to Congress. For instance, the president will address just 200 people in person, rather than the usual 1,600. Some lawmakers, meanwhile, are inviting their guests remotely, and anyone who doesn’t have a ticket to attend the speech will be asked to vacate the building by 5pm.

The US Capitol building will see heightened health and security measures in place.
The US Capitol building will see heightened health and security measures in place. Photograph: Bill Ingalls/NASA/AFP/Getty Images

The Times writes:

The unusual preparations promise to lend a surreal mood to what is usually an elaborate and tradition-bound ritual in Washington — a State of the Union-style address delivered by a newly sworn-in president. They are the latest reminder of the challenges facing Mr. Biden, who took office during one of the more difficult and traumatic stretches in modern American history.

“It’ll be its own wonderful character,” Ms. Pelosi said of the atmosphere for the speech. “We go from 1,600 people to 200 people. That’s a different dynamic, but it has its own worth.”

Already, the speech has been delayed for months after it was initially expected, as the White House and congressional leaders grappled with the public health and security concerns during Mr. Biden’s first weeks in office. Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting chief of the Capitol Police, testified in February that militia groups involved in the Jan. 6 assault wanted to blow up the Capitol and kill lawmakers around Mr. Biden’s first formal address to Congress.

With most cabinet officials staying away, there will be no need for another custom: the annual revelation, usually only minutes before the speech, of a “designated survivor” — one official instructed to stay away from the Capitol in case of a mass casualty attack on the building, to ensure there would be somebody remaining to run the government.

Read the full story here.

The Senate has voted to reinstate a rule, which dates from the Obama era, that imposes limits on the methane gas that is emitted from oil and gas operations, the Washington Post reports. The rule, which requires companies to regularly test for methane leaks, was originally adopted in 2016 but was later undone by the Trump administration.

The Post writes:

The move marks both the first major congressional rebuke of former president Donald Trump’s environmental policies, and a step forward for the Biden administration’s ambitious climate agenda.

“We have to stop lighting the matches of methane pollution,” Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), one of the bill’s sponsors, said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

The vote is also the first time Democrats have used the 1996 Congressional Review Act to reverse a federal regulation.

The measure cleared the divided Senate by a 52 to 42 vote. It is expected to easily pass the House and would then head to President Biden’s desk.

Biden has called limiting emissions of methane — a powerful greenhouse gas that when released without being burned has more than 80 times the climate impact of carbon dioxide — key to his pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by the end of the decade.

Read the full story here.

Updated

The hunger industry: does charity put a Band-Aid on American inequality?

Alyson Graham raised three children by juggling multiple jobs and making tough choices about what they should go without. For more than 20 years, she made weekly visits to a food pantry, before going to the store to supplement the free groceries using food stamps and whatever money she had left after paying rent and bills.

It was a struggle to put nutritious food on the table.

“I always had two jobs when my kids were growing up, but still couldn’t make ends meet,” said Graham, 51, who worked minimum-wage jobs in call centres, bars and restaurants in Houston. “I couldn’t let the lights or water go off, and there were always other expenses like shoes and books, so I relied on food pantries and frozen food like chicken nuggets to fill them up. The system is so skewed, it’s almost impossible.”

Graham’s story is a typical American story, and one that predates the unprecedented economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Every month, millions of working folks are forced to choose between rent, bills, healthcare, childcare and food because they are not paid a living wage. According to one measure, 43.5% of Americans were living in poverty or low-income households in 2017, with the latter often just one emergency or missed paycheck away from falling below the poverty line.

Even when the economy is booming, at least one in eight families with children in the world’s so-called richest country do not have reliable access to sufficient nutritious food needed for a healthy active life, according to USDA data collected since the mid-1990s. In times of recession, a fifth or more families have experienced food insecurity, which research shows can cause lifelong damage to a child’s health, education and employment potential.

No matter what the state of the economy, the need for food aid has continued to rise as wages and government assistance have failed to keep up with the cost of living. A third of food-insecure people are not considered poor enough to qualify for government food assistance.

Read more:

Biden's $1.8tn plan for childcare and universal preschool

The American Families Plan was unveiled just ahead of the president’s address to Congress, and reflects many of Biden’s campaign promises.

It builds on his American Rescue Plan, which was the biggest expansion of the welfare state in decades. While the Rescue Plan was designed to bail the nation out of the depths of the coronavirus crisis – funding the $1,400 cheques that were sent to most Americans, and efforts to ramp up Covid-19 vaccinations – the plan unveiled on Wednesday aims to reshape the economy’s social infrastructure.

The vision would be funded by rolling back Trump-era tax cuts, raising the capital gains rate for millionaires and billionaires, and closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, senior administration officials said in a call with members of the media.

If the plan passes, about $300bn would be dedicated to funding education, $225bn would go toward childcare and another $225bn toward subsidizing paid family leave. The program reflects progressive ideas, including a national family leave program, which have only recently been adopted by mainstream Democratic lawmakers. The US is the only wealthy nation that does not have a federal policy for paid maternity leave, and is one of a very small group of wealthier countries that do not provide for paid paternity leave.

During a press briefing last week, Brian Deese, a senior adviser to the president, said the plan “will provide critical support for children and families and, in – by doing so, critical support for our economy by boosting labor force participation and future economic competitiveness”.

Read more:

Tim Scott, the South Carolina senator who plans to deliver the Republican rebuttal to Joe Biden’s address to Congress tonight, will make an attempt to tout Trump-era accomplishments.

“Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump Administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines. Thanks to our bipartisan work last year, job openings are rebounding,” Scott’s speech reads.

Scott will also ask Americans to try to look back to before the coronavirus crisis hit - before more than half a million died.

“Just before COVID, we had the most inclusive economy in my lifetime. The lowest unemployment ever recorded for African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. The lowest for women in nearly 70 years,” Scott’s speech reads.

The numbers there are more or less true - but they’re misleading

Donald Trump often made these claims, throughout his presidency - implying that he, and Republicans were responsible. But those unemployment rates were falling before Trump took office, and the declines didn’t pick up speed when he stepped into the White House.

Moreover, while Scott is implying that the economy was becoming more inclusive - that’s not really an accurate assessment of the data. Unemployment rates for all groups were declining. Unemployment for Black and Hispanic people didn’t really change in any notable way relative to the rates for other groups.

The president will also be making a major pitch to the working class.

“You feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that’s rapidly changing,” he plans to say, as he touts his jobs plan. “Let me speak directly to you.”

Independent experts estimate the American Jobs Plan will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth for years to come. These are good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced. Nearly 90% of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan don’t require a college degree. 75% don’t require an associate’s degree.

The Americans Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America.

And, it recognizes something I’ve always said: Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class.

Between the lines: Biden knows that his economic relief plans, and his infrastructure plan, enjoy broad support - from both Democratic and Republican voters across the country. Republican lawmakers, who have staunchly opposed the plans, have found themselves in an odd position – having to defend why they think more roads and bridges, more economic stimulus, and other welfare programs are actually bad. It’s a hard sell, especially after a year of unprecedented grief and hardship.

Biden will also want to appeal to progressives, who have been encouraged by his adoption of major progressive goals - but who have been hoping to push him to do more, to take on even bolder reforms to healthcare and social support programs.

Biden address preview: president to speak about how 'government still works'

Joe Biden will talk about how in his first 100 days, his administration is working to “prove democracy still works”.

Per a preview of his first address to a joint session of Congress tonight, Biden will tell lawmakers and the nation:

We have to prove democracy still works. That our government still works—and can deliver for the people.

In our first 100 days together, we have acted to restore the people’s faith in our democracy to deliver.

We’re vaccinating the nation. We’re creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. We’re delivering real results people can see and feel in their own lives. Opening the doors of opportunity. Guaranteeing fairness and justice.

Updated

Ahmaud Arbery killing: three men charged with federal hate crimes

The Justice Department has announced that three men have been charged with hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.

Arbery was killed last February, while he was out jogging. Greg and Travis McMichael, a white father, and son, armed themselves and pursued the 25-year-old Black man, who was out running, telling the police they suspected Arbery was a burglar. The

Per the Justice Department:

Travis McMichael, 35; Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, were each charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping. Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing—and in Travis’s case, discharging—a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Summary

That’s all from me for the day. I’m handing off to my colleague Maanvi Singh - who’ll bring you more live updates.

  • Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the apartment of Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, and seized his electronic devices according to multiple reports. The search indicates an escalation of federal investigators’ criminal investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.
  • Joe Biden is scheduled to give his first joint address to Congress tonight, where he will speak on topics including Covid-19, gun violence, the economy and his latest stimulus plan. The event will be pared down from previous presidential address to Congress because of pandemic safety restrictions.
  • The speech comes nearly four months after insurrectionists attacked the Capitol on Jan 6 in an effort to overturn the presidential election. A DC police officer who defended the Capitol during the attack condemned attempts to “whitewash” the attack in an emotional interview on Wednesday.

More details from the New York Times on the search warrant executed at Rudy Giuliani’s apartment today:

FBI agents on Wednesday morning also executed a search warrant at the Washington-area home of Victoria Toensing, a lawyer close to Mr Giuliani who had dealings with several Ukrainians involved in seeking negative information on the Bidens, according to people with knowledge of that warrant, which sought her phone.

Ms Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official, has also represented Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch under indictment in the United States whose help Mr Giuliani sought.

ABC News had more details on Toensing:

Ms Toensing is a former federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official,” said a statement released by Toensing’s law firm, diGenova & Toensing. “She would have been happy to turn over any relevant documents. All they had to do was ask. Ms Toensing was informed that she is not a target of the investigation.”

In addition to Toensing, sources told ABC News that several other individuals were named in the search warrant served on Giuliani Wednesday morning, many of whom had ties to Ukraine, sources said.

Updated

At Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress tonight, two women will be sitting behind the president for the first time because of their senior roles in US politics.

As vice president, Kamala Harris will take one of the seats - she became the first female vice president in US history in January. The other seat is reserved for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who became the first woman to hold that role in 2007.

Asked about this historical moment on Wednesday, Pelosi told MSNBC: “It’s about time.”

The people in those two seats provide as a live reaction to the president’s remarks - a position Pelosi knows well. In 2020, she ripped up her paper copy of Donald Trump’s speech. In 2019, she inspired a meme by sarcastically clapping at Trump.

Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address with Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol on 5 February 2019
Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address with Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol on 5 February 2019 Photograph: Doug Mills/EPA

Updated

The first lady, Jill Biden, has announced her “virtual” guests for Joe Biden’s address tonight in Congress. Usually, lawmakers who attend the joint session bring guests to represent policy areas they are focused on, but the crowd at this year’s speech is much smaller because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Jill Biden said her guests would attend a virtual reception then watch the speech remotely. The guests are:

Javier Quiroz Castro - a nurse and recipient of the deportation relief program, Daca

Maria-Isabel Ballivian - executive director, Annandale Christian Community For Action (ACCA) Child Development Center

Tatiana Washington - gun violence prevention advocate and organizer

Stella Keating (she/her) - first transgender teen to testify before US Senate

Theron Rutyna - IT director for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation, has written for the Guardian on the role political leaders should play in global Covid-19 vaccine distribution.

The US is a key figure in this debate because with the UK, it has bought up the majority of the existing vaccine supplies. Farrar writes:

It is simply not acceptable that while an estimated one in four people in high-income countries have received a Covid vaccine, just one in 500 have received the jab in low-income countries, or that hospitals in poorer countries are still struggling to access basic supplies like oxygen, sedatives and PPE. Healthcare workers in every country, who are putting themselves at risk to protect us all, must be first in line for vaccinations.

Right now, global political leaders are the only people who can make these essential resources available. Rich countries – including the UK and US – have bought up the majority of existing vaccine supplies. They urgently need to start sharing these doses with the rest of the world, alongside national rollouts in their own countries, and through the Covax programme. And they must set out a timetable for how these donations will be increased as they vaccinate more of their populations domestically.

Updated

A federal grand jury added new charges today against three men charged with conspiracy to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, saying they planned to use weapons of mass destruction to destroy a bridge, the Justice Department said.

Gretchen Whitmer earlier this month.
Gretchen Whitmer earlier this month. Photograph: AP

Reuters reports that:

Adam Fox, 40, of Wyoming, Michigan; Barry Croft Jr., 45, of Bear, Delaware; and Daniel Joseph Harris, 23, of Lake Orion, Michigan, were charged with knowingly conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property, the department said, in addition to a kidnapping conspiracy charge in October.

The superseding indictment today alleges that they three planned to destroy a nearby bridge, which would have harmed and hindered Whitmer’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers, a Justice Department statement said.

The new indictment also alleged that Croft and Harris possessed a “destructive device” that was not registered as required by U.S. federal law. It said Harris also possessed an unregistered semiautomatic assault rifle.

Fourteen men were accused of taking part in a plot by right-wing militia extremists to abduct Whitmer. One of them broke ranks with his co-defendants in January and pleaded guilty to a federal kidnapping conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors have said all 14 suspects targeted Whitmer in retribution for public health orders she imposed placing restrictions on a wide range of social and business activity to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Updated

Summary

  • Federal investigators on Wednesday searched the apartment of Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, and seized his electronic devices according to multiple reports. The search indicates an escalation of federal investigators’ criminal investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.
  • Joe Biden is scheduled to give his first joint address to Congress tonight, where he will speak on topics including Covid-19, gun violence, the economy and his latest stimulus plan. The event will be pared down from previous presidential address to Congress because of pandemic safety restrictions.
  • The speech comes nearly four months after insurrectionists attacked the Capitol on Jan 6 in an effort to overturn the presidential election. A DC police officer who defended the Capitol during the attack condemned attempts to “whitewash” the attack in an emotional interview on Wednesday.

Updated

The justice department just announced new charges are being handed down in the domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

A federal grand jury in Michigan provided a superseding indictment today which adds conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against three defendants and adds federal firearms violations for two defendants in the case.

The document alleges three men charged in the plot intended to use weapons of mass destruction to destroy a nearby bridge “in effect, harming and hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers,” according to the justice department.

The updated document also alleges two of the men knowingly possessed firearms that were not registered to them as required by federal law.

Rudy Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, told the Wall Street Journal that federal investigators arrived at Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment around 6am on Wednesday and seized his electronic devices. According to WSJ:

He [Costello] said the search warrant describes the investigation as an investigation into a possible violation of foreign lobbying rules. Mr Costello said the warrant sought communications between Mr Giuliani and individuals including John Solomon, a columnist who was in communication with Mr Giuliani about his effort to push for investigations of Joe Biden in Ukraine....

Mr Costello in an interview called the move ‘legal thuggery.’ He said that in recent years he had offered to answer investigators’ questions as long as they agreed to say what area they were looking at ahead of time. He said they declined the offer. “It’s like I’m talking to a wall,” he said.

Some early reaction to the breaking news that federal investigators searched the apartment of Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, today. Federal authorities have been looking into whether Giuliani illegally lobbied Trump’s administration on behalf of Ukraine government officials and oligarchs who were helping the former NYC mayor search for dirt on then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.

A former personal attorney for Trump, Michael Cohen, tweeted: “Here we go folks!!!” with a link to the news.

Here we go folks!!! ⁦@RudyGiuliani⁩ Apartment Searched in Federal Investigation - The New York Times ⁦@nytimes⁩ ⁦@maggieNYThttps://t.co/fmpk18NH5X

— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) April 28, 2021

Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress.

Harry Litman, a legal affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, said the search “means that a magistrate judge has found probable cause to believe that they were also criminal. very major development.”

Oh my -- Giuliani's apartment searched based on his nasty doings in Ukraine, which were plainly dishonest and based on wild lies -- but this means that a magistrate judge has found probable cause to believe that they were also criminal. very major development.

— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) April 28, 2021

And George Conway, a Republican attorney and husband of former White House aide Kellyane Conway, said:

This seems understated.

“Executing a search warrant is an extraordinary move for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president, and it marks a major turning point in the long-running investigation into Mr. Giuliani.” https://t.co/CkBITDTOQT

— George Conway (@gtconway3d) April 28, 2021

Federal investigators search Rudy Giuliani apartment – reports

Federal investigators searched Rudy Giuliani’s apartment on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the New York City apartment of Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who worked as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, as part of a criminal investigation in Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, three unnamed sources told the Times. The newspaper reported:

Executing a search warrant is an extraordinary move for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president, and it marks a major turning point in the long-running investigation into Mr Giuliani.

The federal authorities have been largely focused on whether Mr Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the same time were helping Mr Giuliani search for dirt on Mr Trump’s political rivals, including president Biden, who was then a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The investigation reportedly relates to Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine.
The investigation reportedly relates to Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

Updated

Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, said countries have failed to unite to provide an adequate global response to prevent the “tragic” coronavirus outbreak from overwhelming India in an interview with Guardian Australia:

“The only way that you’re going to adequately respond to a global pandemic is by having a global response, and a global response means equity throughout the world,” Fauci said.

“And that’s something that, unfortunately, has not been accomplished. Often when you have diseases in which there is a limited amount of intervention, be it therapeutic or prevention, this is something that all the countries that are relatively rich countries or countries that have a higher income have to pay more attention to.”

India recorded 360,960 new cases in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning according to health ministry data, another new daily global record. The ministry also said that India’s total number of fatalities had passed 200,000 to stand at 201,187.

Five judicial nominees are appearing before a Senate panel this morning, a first move following Donald Trump’s unprecedented number of judicial appointments.

While the US supreme court is the country’s highest court and attracts the most attention, it is the appeals courts which have the last word on most cases. They hear thousands of cases each year, compared with the 100-150 the supreme court typically hears (if you’d like to know more about their influence, do read this excellent piece from last year).

The five people being considered today include Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is thought to be a likely contender for the Supreme Court if a seat opens up while Joe Biden is in office. She is now a judge in DC and Biden is seeking to promote her to the district’s federal appeals court.

Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill
Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill Photograph: Getty Images

Joe Biden will also speak about gun violence during tonight’s speech, according to USAToday. On the presidential campaign trail, Biden pledged to reinstate the assault weapons ban and create a voluntary gun buyback program.

A White House official told the newspaper that Biden will talk about gun violence as an epidemic, which he has done in the past, and urge Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

When Biden was a senator in the early 1990s, he helped implement a 10-year ban on assault weapons and passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.

USA Today reports:

The president’s plea appears to echo a similar one made by Obama at the State of the Union in 2013, two months after Sandy Hook, in which he told Congress victims of gun violence — many of whom were seated in the room — “deserve a vote.” Biden presided over the Senate chamber when a gun safety package failed to pass two months later.

Despite the uphill battle, Democrats are heeding the president’s call. Last week Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., reintroduced a bill to remove protections for manufacturers and sellers from consumer negligence lawsuits and allow victims of gun violence to pursue legal recourse. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a key Democrat leading gun control efforts, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper last week that he’s made calls to almost half the Republican caucus “asking them to keep an open mind.”

The Guardian’s voting rights reporter, Sam Levine, has an alarming story this morning on Republican efforts to make it harder to vote in Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office:

Even as attacks on voting rights have escalated in recent years, the Republican effort since January marks a new, more dangerous phase for American democracy, experts say.

From the moment Biden was elected, Republicans have waged an unprecedented effort to undermine confidence in the results in the election, thrusting the foundation of American democracy to the center of American politics.

An alarming peak in that effort came on 6 January, when Republican lies about the election fomented the attack on the US capitol and several GOP senators tried to block certification of the electoral college vote.

Biden was inaugurated on 20 January, but the Republican project to undermine the vote has only grown since then. The effort has been staggering not only in its volume – more than 360 bills with voting restrictions have been introduced so far – but also in its scope.

Biden’s speech this evening will take place at the US Capitol, the site of a violent insurrection on Jan 6, when Donald Trump supporters sought to overturn the results of the presidential election.

A Washington DC police officer injured that day at Capitol said it has been “difficult” to hear politicians downplay the events that day in an interview last night with CNN.

DC police officer Michael Fanone described how he was dragged down the Capitol steps, beaten and suffered a mild heart attack and a concussion by a mob which supported Trump.

“It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” Fanone told CNN. “Some of the terminology that was used, like ‘hugs and kisses’ and ‘very fine people,’ is very different from what I experienced and what my co-workers experienced on the 6th.”

Last month, Trump lied and said rioters were “hugging and kissing” police during the attack. CNN host Don Lemon asked Fanone about Trump’s comments and the officer responded:

“I think it’s dangerous,” Fanone, 40, said. “It is very much not the experience I had on the 6th. I experienced a group of individuals who were trying to kill me to accomplish their goal.”

Fanone joined the police after Sep 11. While defending the Capitol on 6 Jan, a rioter shocked Fanone with a stun gun, triggering the mild heart attack. He said he has also experienced PTSD because of the events that day.

“I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life, let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades” Fanone said. “This was nothing I had ever thought would be a part of my law enforcement career.”

In Biden’s address to Congress tonight, he is expected to touch on issues including Covid-19, immigration and the president’s sweeping plan to reshape the economy’s social infrastructure, the American Families Plan.

Biden last night unveiled the $1.8tn plan to invest in a national childcare program, universal preschool, tuition-free community college, health insurance subsidies and tax cuts for low- and middle-income workers.

He is also expected to speak about his administration’s response to Covid-19 and the status of the national vaccine campaign.

On immigration, Biden will call on Congress to pass a proposal he introduced on his first day in office, according to the Washington Post. The bill includes a pathway to citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Biden to give first joint address to Congress

Good morning and welcome to the US politics live blog. Joe Biden today will deliver his first joint address to Congress on Wednesday night, marking his first 100 days in office.

This will function different from past presidential addresses to Congress because of Covid-19. There will be no guests and fewer than half of Congress is being allowed to attend in person. Most of the Cabinet too will watch from home.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Tuesday that only the secretary of state and secretary of defense will attend.

“While the speech will, of course, look and feel different from past years, the president will preserve a few traditions, including the walk down the center aisle that we have seen presidents do for many years,” Psaki said. “Of course, he’ll be wearing a mask for that. He’ll remove the mask when he delivers his speech.”

We’ll have more on the speech and the day’s politics throughout the day.

Contributors

Maanvi Singh in Oakland and Amanda Holpuch in New York

The GuardianTramp

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