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Joe Biden highlights the importance of the Arts in message to Kennedy Center honorees
Recently, US President Joe Biden delivered a special message to this year’s honorees of the Kennedy Center Honors, marking the return of the White House’s involvement in the awards. In his remarks, Biden highlighted the importance of the arts as well as meeting with some of the honorees.
In a pre-taped message signaling the White House’s return to joining in celebrating the Kennedy Center Honors this year, Biden celebrated this year’s honorees, noting the importance of the arts in the soul of the country. This especially comes at a time when the US is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and more Americans are getting vaccinated. Biden also shared that he and first lady Dr. Jill Biden met with five of the honorees of this year.
“In this year of profound loss and pain, of repair and renewal, the artists’ vision is as important as ever,” said Biden in the video.
“In the search for greater meaning in our lives, we have discovered and rediscovered the power of art in every form,” Biden added.
Prior to the Honors ceremony, Biden met with five of the Kennedy Center Honorees this year at the Oval Office - Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Allen, Garth Brooks, Midori, and Joan Baez. Although the US leader was not in attendance, his special message is a return to the tradition of the president’s appearance in the celebrations. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, canceled the tradition during his presidency, foregoing the White House meeting and the ceremony.
In other news, the Justice Department is set to defend the law barring residents of Puerto Rico from obtaining federal benefits for low-income disabled people. This is despite Biden’s criticism of the law which he says goes against the values of his administration. Biden issued a statement ahead of the brief that DOJ lawyers would present to the Supreme Court.
While Biden denounced the provision, he also noted the agency’s practices of defending the constitutionality of federal statutes. However, Biden then urged Congress to pass legislation to amend the Social Security Act in order to make benefits available to Puerto Rico residents. Biden also called for legislators to eliminate Medicaid funding caps for the territory.