President Biden is pleading with Americans who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid to do so as soon as possible.
He cited the danger posed by the new delta variant saying it remains a serious and deadly threat” and claimed that the new variant leaves unvaccinated people, especially the young, “even more vulnerable than they were a month ago.”
Echoing advice given by his chief medical adviser Dr Fauci, Biden said: “Please, please, if you have one shot, get the second shot as soon as you can,” he said. “If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, get vaccinated. Now. Now. Don’t put it off. It’s free, it’s easy. It’s convenient.”
He added that the “science and the data are clear” that vaccinations are the most effective form of protection against the variant.
The Hill reports: Biden encourages Americans who have lingering questions about the vaccine to consult friends, family members and their doctors. He noted the various steps the administration has taken to make getting the vaccine as convenient as possible, such as partnering with Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to vaccination sites through July 4.
“We’re heading into, God willing, the summer of joy, the summer of freedom,” Biden said. “On July 4, we are going to celebrate our independence from the virus as we celebrate our independence of our nation. We want everyone to be able to do that.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said earlier Friday that the delta variant would likely become the dominant strain in the US over the next two or three months. The variant is the most contagious yet and more likely to cause severe illness in those who have not been vaccinated.
Biden also used the remarks to tout the progress that the US has made in vaccinating its population, noting the decline in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. He marked a new milestone of 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses in his first 150 days in office.
The president has set a goal of having 70 percent of US adults with at least one dose of vaccine by the Fourth of July, though he appears increasingly likely to fall short of that goal. Currently, 65 percent of Americans 18 years old and over have had at least one dose of vaccine.
Biden emphasized on Friday that 15 states have met the benchmark so far.
He balanced the positive message of progress with a warning, noting that the states where vaccination rates are lower are not seeing the same sharp declines in cases and hospitalizations.
“As I promised you from the beginning, I’ll always give it to you straight, the good, the bad and the good, and the truth is that deaths and hospitalizations are drastically down in places where people are getting vaccinated, but unfortunately cases and hospitalizations are not going down in many places in the lower-vaccination-rate states. They’re actually going up in some places,” Biden said.
“Please, please, if you have one shot, get the second shot as soon as you can,” he said. “If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, get vaccinated. Now. Now. Don’t put it off. It’s free, it’s easy. It’s convenient.”
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