Here's Who's Sitting with Jill Biden at the State of the Union... And Who's Not

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Posted: Mar 01, 2022 3:30 PM
Here's Who's Sitting with Jill Biden at the State of the Union... And Who's Not

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The White House announced the guests who will be seated with First Lady Jill Biden during President Biden's first State of the Union Address on Tuesday. 

"First Lady Jill Biden will welcome selected guests from across the United States to join her in the viewing box for President Biden’s State of the Union Address this evening, Tuesday, March 1, 2022," the White House said in a release. "Each of these individuals, with their resilience, innovation, service, and courage, were chosen by the White House because they represent policies or themes to be addressed by the President in his speech."

Here's who will join the First Lady in the House gallery Tuesday night:

  • Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff
  • Valerie Biden Owens, President Biden's younger sister
  • Oksana Markarova, Ukraine's ambassador to the United States
  • Joseph “JoJo” Burgess, a 20-year member of United Steelworkers Local 1557
  • Joshua Davis, a 7th grade student at Swift Creek Middle School and diabetes advocate
  • Refynd Duro, a progressive care unit nurse at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
  • Patrick “Pat” Gelsinger, CEO of Intel
  • Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower and the company's former lead product manager on civic misinformation
  • Melissa Isaac, the Gizhwaasod (Protector of the Young) at the Michigan Department of Education's Indigenous Education Initiative 
  • Danielle Robinson, the surviving spouse of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson
  • Kezia Rodriguez, a student-parent at Bergen Community College

While Jill Biden is continuing the tradition of bringing guests to the State of the Union, members of Congress were told they could not bring guests to Biden's first SOTU due to COVID concerns. Even after the Capitol Physician rolled back the mask mandate, the prohibition on guests remained, along with the requirement for a negative COVID test and social distancing. 

Guidance for those attending Biden's address also includes a prohibition on physical contact with others, despite the opening to most State of the Union addresses being an extended glad-handing walk across the House chamber to the rostrum.

If, as the White House says, Jill Biden's guests are to represent President Biden's agenda, there are a few individuals (and inanimate objects) that would be better representatives for the first 13 months of the Biden administration, such as:

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  • a frontline healthcare worker fired because they chose not to get vaccinated
  • families of the 13 U.S. service members killed by ISIS-K during Biden's surrender
  • American citizens and Afghan allies left behind in Afghanistan by Biden
  • shipping containers stuck off the U.S. coast due to a broken supply chain
  • Major Biden, the First Family's excommunicated dog
  • Hunter Biden or his lady friends
  • taxpayer-bought and HHS-distributed crack pipes
  • illegal immigrants who crossed Biden's open border
  • Corn Pop (the bad dude)
  • the border agents sidelined by Biden's whip-gate hoax
  • Biden's Build Back Better budget that Pelosi and Schumer still can't pass
  • The Senate's legislative filibuster that has outlived multiple Biden bills
  • Biden's OSHA vaccine mandate that was struck down by the Supreme Court