He acknowledged that Americans are “tired, frustrated, and exhausted” as he marked a “new moment” where the coronavirus will be more manageable and masks will be required less often. He did not take credit for fulfilling his promise to end the country’s longest war, eliding any mention of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Midway through his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Joe Biden pleaded with the country to finally, after nearly 1 million deaths, stop viewing the coronavirus as a political fault line.

“Let’s use this moment to reset,” he said.

It was a phrase that applied to much more than the pandemic.

After a first year that saw his most ambitious plans stall and his public approval ratings plunge, Biden delivered an address that sought to turn the page and prepare his party for midterm elections in November.

He did not mention the words “build back better,” the name of his stalled legislative agenda, instead talking about “building a better America.” He insisted he would confront inflation, promising that he has a “better plan” to reduce cost increases than Republicans.

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