President Joe Biden’s administration enlisted actor Tom Hanks to narrate a video praising Biden’s first year in office, as well as emphasizing how well the United States is doing. The video comes as inflation reaches a 40-year high, Russia is on the verge of invading U.S. ally Ukraine again, and the number of Americans whose deaths are attributed to COVID-19 nears 1 million.
President Joe Biden’s Inaugural Committee produced the video that will run from morning until night on broadcast and cable television on Thursday, Jan. 20, the one-year anniversary of Biden’s inauguration.
Narrated by Tom Hanks, the video features average Americans, including a UPS driver, a Teamster from Michigan and a bed-and-breakfast owner in Wisconsin.
The video kicks off with a quote by Amanda Gorman, who spoke at Biden’s inauguration one year ago.
“For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it,” Gorman says.
A voiceover by Hanks then highlights the difficulties faced by Americans over the past two years as images of struggling healthcare workers and homes destroyed by natural disasters appear on screen.
“American is the home of the brave. It’s why we keep getting up no matter how many times we get knocked down,” Hanks says, later adding that the economy is “getting stronger” despite entering “year three” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New York nurse Sandra Lindsay, who was the first person to take the COVID-19 vaccine, then remarks that she is motivated by the more than 200 million people who have since received the vaccine.
“I can feel the change,” Lindsay adds.
The video continues to praise Biden’s economy, claiming that “more jobs were created in 2021 than in any year in the last 80 years.”
“We are stronger than we were a year ago today,” Hanks says.
Near the end of the video, President Biden says, “I’ve long said it’s never been a good bet to bet against America, and that’s more true today than ever. I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future. There’s nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together.”
The ad was reportedly paid for with “several million dollars” in unused inaugural funds.
According to the Houston Chronicle, inflation rose at its quickest pace in almost 40 years in December, marking a 7 percent jump when compared to 2020.
“U.S. inflation pressures show no sign of easing,’’ said James Knightley, chief international economist at the financial services company ING. “It hasn’t been this high since the days of Thatcher and Reagan. We could be close to the peak, but the risk is that inflation stays higher for longer.’’
CDC data shows that more Americans have died during President Biden’s presidency due to COVID-19 than during former President Donald Trump’s, with the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 reaching 848,403.
During his first press conference of the year on Wednesday, President Joe Biden predicted that Russia will move to invade Ukraine, later indicating that a “minor incursion” would result in less severe consequences than an invasion.
“I’m not so sure [Putin] has ascertained what he will do. My guess is that he will move in. He has to do something,” Biden said. “He is trying to find his place in the world between China and the West.”
A Ukrainian official told CNN that Biden’s distinction between an “incursion” and invasion “gives the green light to Putin to enter Ukraine at his pleasure,” adding that the Ukrainian government is “stunned” by his comments.