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Secretary Raimondo tapped as designated survivor during State of the Union

Gina Raimondo, US commerce secretary, spoke during the US Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2022.Eric Lee/Bloomberg

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has been selected as the designated survivor for President Biden’s first State of the Union address, meaning she will not be present in the Capitol but will be in an undisclosed location while Biden is delivering his remarks to members of Congress.

One high-ranking member of government is selected as the “designated survivor” during the annual speech in the case of a catastrophic event resulting in mass casualties of American leaders.

Raimondo could not be reached for comment on being chosen. She is tenth in the line of presidential succession.

While Biden is updating the nation on matters of international and domestic importance — such as the invasion of Ukraine and inflation — it will be the former Rhode Island governor who will be absent this year, according to a pool report.


There was no designated survivor last year because restrictions posed by the coronavirus pandemic made it unnecessary.

Raimondo will travel to Massachusetts Wednesday, where she will tour MIT.nano at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and “discuss the need for increased domestic production of semiconductors and funding for essential research and development.”

Shannon Larson can be reached at Follow her @shannonlarson98.