Joe Biden speaks of hope through the Covid crisis - can he deliver?

March 11 last year saw former US President Donald Trump give his infamous Oval Office address telling Americans not to worry about coronavirus: “The risk is very, very low,” he said.

Tell that to the families of the 543,585 dead or the 29 million who were diagnosed.

A year on, a new president had a new message for his first prime time address.

Joe Biden’s speech marked his first 50 days in office and was delivered on the eve of the signing of his nearly two trillion dollar coronavirus relief package.

President Joe Biden Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

The talk was of hope, of a virus which could be brought under control, an economy which could be revived.

A promise to Americans across the country that the darkest days are behind so long as everyone plays their part.

We have heard a lot of that rather annoying phrase “new normal” over the past year.

The president steered clear of it, suggesting the country could be “closer to normal” by Independence Day in July.

There is huge hope for the stimulus package. They have aimed high and will happily take the blame if they have spent too much in the quest for workable solutions.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks as President Joe Biden listens Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP

There is also hope on the vaccine front.

The President suggested all adults should be able to sign up by May 1. Signing up and getting jabs in arms are two different things though.

There may be push back from some governors who are seeking different targets and there will need to be a significant uptick in availability.

Even here in the nation’s capital the sign up form comes with a big warning that there are no where near enough doses for the numbers who need them.

If the past year has taught us anything it should surely be that the road to Covid-free is paved with good intentions and dashed hopes.

Not even the President of the free world can really say what the path ahead holds.

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