Only 200 people were allowed in the House chamber to hear President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress, and the sparse attendance produced a low-key event that lacked the energy and spectacle typical of the annual speech.
“It was muted,” Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican, said after the speech. “Normally, there is so much energy in the room. The chamber is packed. Obviously, that wasn’t the case because of the unusual social distancing.”
Fellow Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne said of the room: “It was low energy and — and quiet.”
She added: “I think people were waiting for something to be said and were sorely disappointed.”
Biden rarely raised his voice during the hourlong address, and his quiet delivery was interrupted only occasionally by very brief applause by the Democrats.
Democrats praised the speech, which touted