Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

US President Joe Biden reacted to the attack on Salman Rushdie, saying he and his wife Jill were "shocked and saddened" to learn about it.

In a statement, Biden said, "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.

"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 was stabbed multiple times during a speaking event on Friday, and was taken to a hospital by helicopter. There, he was treated for stab wounds to his liver, arm, and one eye. He was on a ventilator as of Friday night.

The suspect in the attack, Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, was arrested at the scene by a state trooper, and is being charged with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree. He was remanded without bail.