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Tipsheet

SOTU Preview: Biden Abandons Build Back Better for a New Agenda

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Joe Biden will abandon his longtime and failed "Build Back Better" agenda at tonight's State of the Union address, making a shift toward "unity" and addressing the country's mental health. 

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"President Biden is laying out a vision to transform how mental health is understood, perceived, accessed, treated, and integrated – in and out of health care settings. The American Rescue Plan laid the groundwork, providing critical investments to expand access to mental health services. Now, far more is needed to ensure that everyone who needs help can access care when and where they seek it," the White House released in a "fact sheet" Tuesday morning. "The President is announcing a national mental health strategy to strengthen system capacity, connect more Americans to care, and create a continuum of support –transforming our health and social services infrastructure to address mental health holistically and equitably."

Biden will specifically talk about the mental health of healthcare workers after he supported the termination of doctors, nurses and others who did not take the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine. Biden's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers across the country has caused major shortages. 

"Three-quarters of frontline health care workers report burnout, while more than half say they lack adequate supports to cope," the White House says. 

Further, Biden will go after social media companies for the mental health crisis among America's youth. He will not hold teachers unions accountable for learning loss as a result of overbearing Wuhan coronavirus restrictions and lengthy school closures. 

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"Our youth have been particularly impacted as losses from COVID and disruptions in routines and relationships have led to increased social isolation, anxiety, and learning loss.  More than half of parents express concern over their children’s mental well-being. An early study has found that students are about five months behind in math and four months behind in reading, compared with students prior to the pandemic," the White House says. "This youth mental health crisis has been accentuated by large social media platforms, which for years have been conducting a national experiment on our children and using their data to keep them clicking—with enormous consequences. While technology platforms have improved our lives in some ways, there is mounting evidence that social media is harmful to many kids’ and teens’ mental health, well-being, and development."

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