Biden's State of the Union guests include Bono and family of Tyre Nichols

'I want to talk to the American people and let them know the state of affairs,' Mr Biden says

Bono, lead singer of Irish band U2. AP
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Rock star Bono, the family of Tyre Nichols and the 26-year-old who disarmed a gunman in a mass shooting in California will be among the guests sitting alongside Jill Biden at Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The guests were invited “because they personify issues or themes" that US President Joe Biden will address in the speech, or they embody administration policies that are working for the American people, the White House said.

Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, will sit with Ms Biden and has invited Ruth Cohen, 92, a Holocaust survivor from Washington, to be his guest, his office said.

Mr Emhoff, who is Jewish, has taken a lead role in administration efforts to combat anti-Semitism.

Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the US who was a guest last year when Mr Biden spoke days after the Russian invasion of her country, will return as Mr Biden seeks to sustain American and allied support forthe war effort.

Also invited are Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was severely injured days before the midterm elections by a man with a hammer; and Brandon Tsay of San Marino, California, who disarmed the shooter responsible for killing 11 people in Monterey Park, California.

An optimistic Mr Biden will seek to lift the spirits of a tense nation with an address promoting his efforts to fire up the US economy — and showing he still has what it takes to seek re-election at the age of 80.

After two years of managing the exit from the Covid pandemic, an end to the 20-year Afghan war debacle, the western response against Russia and extreme US political tension, he feels he has much to celebrate.

"I want to talk to the American people and let them know the state of affairs," Mr Biden said on Monday. "Just have a conversation with the American people."

Also sitting with Ms Biden will be RowVaughn and Rodney Wells of Memphis, Tennessee, the mother and stepfather of Mr Nichols, who died last month after being severely beaten by police in Memphis.

His death has sparked a renewed call for police reform legislation, a topic Mr Biden is expected to address in his remarks.

Other guests include the parents of a three-year-old who survived a rare paediatric cancer, meant to highlight Mr Biden's Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Bono, the Irish lead singer of U2, was invited for his advocacy and philanthropic support for global health and Aids relief initiatives.

U2 members Bono and the Edge perform in Ukraine - in pictures

Amanda and Josh Zurawski of Austin, Texas, will also be at the address. Ms Zurawaski found doctors unable to intervene after her water prematurely broke at 18 weeks pregnant because of the Texas abortion ban.

She developed sepsis and nearly died because of the delay in receiving treatment, as the Biden administration looks to highlight the consequences of the Supreme Court's overturning of the Roe v Wade verdict last year.

- Agencies contributed to this report

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a socially distanced joint session of Congress at the Capitol, on March 1, 2022. AP
Updated: February 07, 2023, 7:16 PM