Biden says July 4 could become Independence Day from the coronavirus in the US
- July 4 could mark the start of US “independence from this virus,” President Biden said Thursday.
- There was a “good chance” of safe, small-scale Independence Day celebrations outside, he said.
- This depended on Americans doing their part, such as by getting a COVID-19 vaccine, Biden said.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
July 4 could mark the start of US independence from the coronavirus pandemic, President Joe Biden said Thursday during his first national primetime address since his January inauguration.
Biden said that if Americans did their part to curb the spread of the virus, such as by getting vaccinated, there’s “a good chance” they could have small-scale outdoor Independence Day celebrations this year.
“After this long hard year, that will make this Independence Day something truly special, where we not only mark our independence as a nation, but we begin to mark our independence from this virus,” he said.
During Thursday’s address, Biden also said that all adult Americans would be eligible to get a vaccine “no later than May 1.”
“That doesn’t mean everyone’s going to have that shot immediately, but it means you’ll be able to get in line beginning May 1,” he added.
To achieve this, the US planned to administer more than 2 million doses a day, he said.
As of Thursday, just over 64 million Americans – or 19.3% of the population – had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As states ramped up their rollout of the vaccine, some have rescinded their COVID-19 safety protocols.
Texas lifted its statewide mask mandate Wednesday, becoming the largest state to do so yet. Other states including Michigan, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Louisiana have lifted some of their COVID-19 restrictions, such as mask mandates and capacity limits for venues such as restaurants.
In his speech, Biden urged Americans to keep wearing face masks and “follow the scientists.”
He had previously called Texas and Mississippi’s decisions “a big mistake” and a result of “Neanderthal thinking.” Public-health experts also told Insider that it was too early to lift mask mandates.
Biden made the speech just hours after he signed his $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law, which included $1,400 stimulus payments for most taxpayers, $300 weekly federal jobless aid through early September, and an expansion of the child tax credit.
It also contained $400 billion of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including money for vaccination, testing, and research.
The US reported 60,264 new COVID-19 cases and 1,513 deaths on Wednesday, CDC data showed. Its total death toll, at nearly 528,000, remains the highest in the world.
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