Biden: Vaccinate 300 Million People in 150 Days
UMMATIMES - US President Joe Biden announced his achievements in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. The Biden administration has delivered 300 million vaccine shots in the 150 days since he took office.
Biden praised scientists, companies, the American people, and the efforts of his entire government. The president noted the widespread vaccination campaign has set the stage for most Americans to have a relatively normal summer when businesses reopen and employees are re-employed.
"We are heading into a very different summer than last year. A sunny summer. Prayerfully, a summer of joy," President Biden said.
But as Biden marks one milestone, he is in danger of failing to meet another: his goal to have 70 percent of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4, in less than two weeks.
Overall about 168 million American adults or 65.1 percent of the US population aged 18 years and over had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of Friday, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The rate of new vaccinations in the US has fallen significantly from nearly two million a day about two months ago, jeopardizing Biden's ability to hit the 70 percent mark. The White House said the government-wide approach to vaccination efforts had put the virus back on track, which in turn had brought Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths to their lowest levels in more than a year.
But Biden noted in his remarks that some communities in states with lower vaccination rates are experiencing increases in cases and hospitalizations. The US government is in the midst of a month-long offensive to combat vaccine hesitancy and the lack of urgency that some feel for getting the shot, especially in the south and midwest.
As part of the government's vaccination drive, US Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Atlanta on Friday to visit the pop-up Covid-19 vaccination site at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor until his assassination in 1968. The current senior pastor is US Senator Raphael Warnock.
Harris also spoke at a Covid-19 vaccination mobilization event at Clark Atlanta University, a historic black school. He told students they have the power to end this pandemic by informing people of the many resources, such as free car rides and child care, available to help them get vaccinated.
"Getting vaccinated is about building community strength. Getting vaccinated is about building the strength of our country," Harris said.
The Biden administration insists that even if the 70 percent vaccination goal is not met, it will have little impact on the overall US recovery, which is already ahead of Biden's words a few months ago.
Biden wants to celebrate Independence Day as the summer of freedom from the virus. Earlier this week, the White House announced plans to host first responders, essential workers and service members, and their families on the South Lawn to cook and watch fireworks over the National Mall.
More than 1,000 guests are expected at what will be one of the biggest events of the Biden presidency.