Paige Fanneron, News Editor

There is a long list of people who are in line for the presidency in case the president unexpectedly passes away. At the very top of the list are the current vice president and speaker of the house, but further down the list comes a lesser known figure; the designated survivor. The designated survivor is someone chosen by the president from congress or the administration who is assigned to take over the presidency in case something catastrophic happens to the president, vice president, speaker of the house and every other official above them in the line of succession. The role of designated survivor was originally established in 1792. 

Art by: M. Shapiro

It came as a shock when the current president decided that there was no need for a designated survivor at the 2021 State of the Union address. The State of the Union address is an event where the president, while in front of congress, goes through the agenda for the next year. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, President Joe Biden and other officials decided that it was unnecessary to have a designated survivor this year due to the capacity limitations that only allowed 200 people to be present in-person at the meeting. Officials stated that, “There is no need for a designated survivor because most of the cabinet members will be watching from home.”

2020 will go down as one of the craziest years in American history, and 2021 is already looking very similar, with Biden deciding to throw off tradition and forgo designating a survivor for the 2021 State of the Union address.   

Design by: Matt McBride