President Biden delivered his first prime-time address Thursday night and laid out his plans to help give the nation a summer to look forward to, telling states to make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines by May 1 and Americans to plan on Fourth of July celebrations. "Let me be clear, that doesn’t mean everyone’s going to have that shot immediately," he said of the new deadline. "But it means you’ll be able to get in line beginning May 1." More:
- Referring to his goal of delivering 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days: "Tonight, I can say we’re not going to meet that goal," he said, per the Washington Post. "We’re going to beat that goal, because we’re actually on track to reach this goal of 100 hundred million shots in arms on my 60th day in office."
- "We lost faith in whether our government and our democracy can deliver on really hard things for the American people," Biden said of the initial pandemic response, per USA Today. But "it's never, ever a good bet to bet against the American people," he said. "America is coming back."
- The president urged Americans to "stick with the rules" in regard to social distancing, mask wearing, etc. "We’ve made so much progress," he said. "This is not the time to let up." He also urged people to listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
- Biden announced a series of moves to speed up the vaccinations. Another 4,000 troops will be deployed to help with vaccination efforts, for a total of 6,000. Dentists, paramedics, medical students, veterinarians, and others now will be able to administer the doses. More vaccine doses will go to some 950 community health centers and as many as 20,000 retail pharmacies, per the AP.
- "The fight is far from over," said Biden. "We still have a lot of work to do. But together, unified, we can defeat this pandemic and we can all celebrate a more normal Fourth of July with families and friends."
- During the 24-minute speech, Biden also condemned attacks on Asian-Americans. "It is wrong, it is un-American and it must stop," he said.
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