BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — President Biden has made a statement on Friday’s attack on author Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institute.

“Jill and I were shocked and saddened to learn of the vicious attack on Salman Rushdie yesterday in New York. We, together with all Americans and people around the world, are praying for his health and recovery. I am grateful to the first responders and the brave individuals who jumped into action to render aid to Rushdie and subdue the attacker,” President Biden said Saturday.

“Salman Rushdie — with his insight into humanity, with his unmatched sense for story, with his refusal to be intimidated or silenced — stands for essential, universal ideals. Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear. These are the building blocks of any free and open society. And today, we reaffirm our commitment to those deeply American values in solidarity with Rushdie and all those who stand for freedom of expression.”

Rushdie, whose writings led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was about to be interviewed at 11 a.m. when suspect Hadi Matar, 24 and of Fairview, N.J., allegedly charged the amphitheater stage and stabbed Rushdie multiple times. Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and the abdomen, police said. He was placed on a ventilator on Friday night, his agent told the Associated Press.

Matar pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault on Saturday.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.