Monday, July 5th, 2021
Independence Day speech
Biden calls on Americans to vaccinate
The USA has been setting a high pace with vaccinations against Covid-19 since the end of last year. But the campaign has stalled. US President Biden is now making an urgent appeal to his compatriots.
US President Joe Biden urged Americans to vaccinate on the national holiday in order to achieve “independence” from the coronavirus together. Getting vaccinated is the “most patriotic” thing citizens could do now, Biden said on Sunday evening (local time), Independence Day, in the garden of the White House. “So please: If you haven’t been vaccinated, do it. Do it now – for yourself, for your loved ones, for your community, for your country.”
Thanks to the vaccination campaign, the US is “closer than ever to declaring its independence from the deadly virus,” stressed Biden. The virus has not yet been defeated, and there are new dangerous variants. “But the best defense against these variants is to get vaccinated,” said Biden. Thanks to the vaccinations, the virus no longer controls people’s lives, “it is no longer paralyzing our country and it is in our power to ensure that it never happens again”.
Biden celebrated the holiday with a big barbecue in the garden of the White House for around 1000 invited guests. These included many soldiers, health workers and their families. Independence Day was also of particular importance this year because Biden wanted to have achieved a new vaccination goal by then. However, despite numerous vaccination incentives and a large supply of vaccines, the target was not achieved. One of the reasons for the slow pace of vaccination in the USA is the large number of vaccine skeptics. In addition, some may want to do without a vaccination because they have the impression that the pandemic is already over. Critics complained that the celebration in the White House could give this impression because of the numerous guests.
Many states are already offering incentives such as high cash prizes to encourage reluctant people to get vaccinated. Surveys suggest, however, that the vaccination campaign is now likely to progress more and more slowly because around 20 percent of the country’s residents reject the vaccinations. A negative attitude is particularly widespread among Republicans. Especially in more rural states, in which the vaccination rate is sometimes well below the national average, the number of new infections has recently risen again. On average, there are now a good 13,000 new infections every day across the country.
After sunset, the traditional 4th of July fireworks was set off along Washington’s historic promenade not far from the White House, the National Mall. Thousands of people had gathered there to watch the fireworks up close. In the evening, television pictures also showed large crowds in other cities such as Nashville and New York at boisterous celebrations and open-air concerts.
By Sunday, 70 percent of all adults should have received at least one vaccine dose. So far, however, only 67 percent, or 173 million people, got at least the first vaccination, data from the CDC showed. In the spring, the Biden administration had exceeded its vaccination targets several times. The USA, alongside Great Britain and Israel, are pioneers in vaccination. Recently, Germany overtook the United States in the proportion of first-time vaccines.