After several long weeks of recuperation in the Panem University Medical Branch – District 4 hospital, both President Katniss Everdeen and Vice President Celine Oswald have made a recovery well enough to take the oath of office for the second time in this term.
The President and VP were both critically injured by the earthquake that struck the Capitol and District 3. The earthquake, a magnitude of 9.1 according to international geologists, virtually destroyed the Capitol and the main energy grid in District 3 and killed over three thousand people, including Speaker of the House Enrique Saldana and Senate President pro tem Wendla Johnson.
Until their recovery was complete, the two highest ranking offices in Panem’s national government were covered by interim officials, specifically interim President Jonathan Madison and interim Vice President Rosalie Descoteaux. Both served until they handed in their resignations so President Everdeen and VP Oswald could retake their authorities.
After their oaths were complete, the President was helicarriered over to the District Capitol building, where she was set to give her first speech before Congress since the earthquake. As she was wheeled in the room by First Gentleman Peeta Mellark, the entire Congress of senators and representatives all gave her a standing ovation, bringing tears to the President’s eyes- an uncommon occurrence for the former victor of the Hunger Games.
An excerpt from President Katniss Everdeen’s address to the joint session of the Panem Congress:
“My dear colleagues, I thank you for your support. It’s obviously been a long road to recovery, and I’m not quite what I was before the catastrophe struck. But I must say that our government is still at work due to the perseverance of our districts. Our nation could have easily fallen that Tuesday of the earthquake. Instead, our district governors, led by Rosalie Descoteaux, took responsibility of our government’s duties despite there being no law, no precedent of them doing so. They knew that without a federal government, our country was in grave danger, and I applaud them for their bravery and service to our country in a time of crisis. *standing ovation occurs.* I also applaud the bravery of Jonathan Madison, who was informed that he would become interim president in my absence. He did not attempt to shirk off this burden, but rather take it in stride. My colleagues, you also deserve a standing ovation. [The president stands and claps, garnering gasps.] You have kept our government running, you have begun aid to our devastated areas, and you continue to work. Thank you for that. And lastly, our citizens deserve an ovation for their strength through this crisis. I have been informed of many stories of heroism and bravery, of generosity and kindness. Such things are not typically expected anymore, and yet this is what I hear of- not of looting, but of valor and courage and service to others, our wounded districts, and our country. And I very much want to thank our people for what they have done. Now, my congressional colleagues, under the Constitution of the Republic of Panem, we must reinstate our Cabinet through a vote of the Senate. I have gained resignations from all Cabinet members, who will go back to their districts to manage them. This business must be attended to immediately and I trust that it should not be a problem.”
The Everdeen cabinet was unanimously reinstated, 28-0. The Congress similarly passed legislation furthering aid to the ailing Capitol and District 3.