Trump delivers farewell speech in video posted ahead of Biden's inauguration

Donald Trump has addressed the nation for the last time as president.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read

Trump makes his final speech as president.

Screenshot by Corinne Reichert/CNET

US President Donald Trump released his farewell speech Tuesday on YouTube, addressing the coronavirus and other topics. Trump's presidency is set to come to an end on Wednesday, when Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. Trump will not attend the inauguration.

"When our nation was hit with the terrible pandemic, we produced not one but two vaccines with record-breaking speed, and more will quickly follow," he said in the video. "We grieve for every life lost, and we pledge in their memory to wipe out this horrible pandemic once and for all."

Read more: Biden's inauguration on Wednesday: Start time, schedule, performances, how to watch

Trump did not make reference to the staggeringly high number of people who have died because of COVID-19 -- with numbers sitting at 400,292 deaths in the US as of Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT, according to John Hopkins University -- instead referring to the coronavirus' "brutal toll on the world's economy." The global coronavirus death toll hit 2 million globally last week.

He also referenced censorship, but didn't directly mention Twitter and Facebook, which banned his social media accounts earlier this month following the insurrection at the Capitol in Washington DC. He called free speech and open debate "core values" and referred to "political censorship and blacklisting."

In addition, he discussed the creation of the US Space Force as a new branch of the armed forces.

Last week, Trump was impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives, with the Senate to preside over the impeachment trial next.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine: US requirements, hidden costs, when you'll get vaccinated, more