White House says Bono, Paul Pelosi and Ukraine’s ambassador are among SOTU guests

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First lady Jill Biden on Tuesday said her guest list at the State of the Union will include Bono, Paul Pelosi and the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols, the Memphis man who died after he was beaten by police following a traffic stop.

President Biden and Mrs. Biden invited Nichols’ relatives, RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, as he pushes Congress to send him a police overhaul.

“President Biden has made clear that we must take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again,” the White House said.

The White House also invited Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, to sit in Mrs. Biden’s viewing box late Tuesday in recognition of her country’s nearly one-year fight against Russian invaders.

The administration said Bono, the Irish singer who fronts U2, will be on-hand because of his work to combat HIV/AIDS and poverty. Mr. Pelosi, who suffered a hammer attack at his home in October, will be there to highlight the dangers of political violence.

“The attack reportedly was politically motivated, with the intruder’s alleged intent to harm and kidnap the former speaker [Nancy Pelosi]. According to court filings, the intruder confronted Mr. Pelosi, asking ‘Where’s Nancy?,’ a similar chant of those responsible for the January 6th Capitol insurrection,” the White House said.

Other guests will include Amanda and Josh Zurawski, a Texas couple who say a state abortion ban made doctors reluctant to render care when Amanda’s water broke at 18 weeks of pregnancy, leading to an ordeal that included life-threatening sepsis.

Paul Sarzoza, of Phoenix, is CEO of Verde, a cleaning and facilities services company whose biggest client is TSMC, a semiconductor manufacturing company that is benefiting from Mr. Biden’s plans to bolster the sector. As a result, Mr. Sarzoza will hire more people to keep up with the demand for his services.

Doug Griffin, of New Hampshire, lost his 20-year-old daughter Courtney to a fentanyl overdose and is supporting other families by fighting the stigma around addiction and raising awareness about treatment.

Ruth Cohen, of Rockville, Maryland, is a survivor of the Holocaust and a volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She will be at Mr. Biden’s speech to highlight the history and dangers of antisemitism.

Among other guests, Maurice and Kandice Barron of New York will join Mrs. Biden after their 3-year-old daughter, Ava, survived a rare form of pediatric cancer. Their presence will highlight Mr. Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.

“Their family’s story is one of hope and possibility, inspiring us to continue working towards a future where we end cancer as we know it,” the White House said.

To see the full White House guest list, click here.

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