US Citing U.S. vaccination milestone, Biden says 'the message is getting through'

02:27  04 august  2021
02:27  04 august  2021 Source:   news.yahoo.com

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WASHINGTON — President Biden celebrated a belated milestone on Tuesday, saying that achieving the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of U.S. adults for COVID-19 “will make a big difference” in helping end a pandemic made worse by the spread of the Delta variant.

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“In the last seven days alone, nearly 3 million Americans have gotten their first shot. That’s the highest seven-day total in a month,” Biden said in a speech delivered from the White House, adding, “The message is getting through, apparently.”

Touting the uptick in vaccinations in states hard hit by Delta, Biden rattled off more statistics from places where inoculation rates have lagged and hospitalizations have spiked over the last few weeks.

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Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Biden speaking about progress in COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News President Biden speaking about progress in COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Initially, he had set a July 4 goal of reaching the 70 percent milestone, but as new case numbers and deaths from COVID-19 fell dramatically throughout the first half of the year, the pace of Americans seeking inoculations plummeted.

In his speech, Biden lauded private companies that have instituted vaccine mandates for workers and noted that “even Fox [News] has vaccination requirements.”

Last week, the president drew criticism from Republicans when he announced new federal vaccination mandates for government workers and contractors.

But he continued to insist that his administration’s efforts to curb the pandemic were based on the sound advice of public health officials.

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“This isn’t about politics. The virus doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. This is about life and death,” he said.

While the pace of vaccination has increased in recent weeks, the spread of the Delta variant and an uptick in deaths and hospitalizations caused by it have undoubtedly proved a major driver. As a result, Biden’s message on Tuesday was a far cry from “mission accomplished,” and he again took pains to point out that America is now in the grips of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” which he called “a largely preventable tragedy that’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

The president was also critical, however, of the Republican leadership in states that have banned mask mandates for public spaces and school districts, and noted that Florida and Texas accounted for one-third of recent COVID infections in the U.S.

"What are we doing? COVID-19 is a national challenge. We have to come together ... as a country to solve it,” Biden said.

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“I say to these governors: Please help. If you’re not going to help, at least get out of the way of people trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives,” he added.


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Overnight Health Care: Study finds unvaccinated more than twice as likely to get COVID-19 reinfection | Half of total US population fully vaccinated | Federal workers who lie about vaccination status could be fined, removed .
Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care. President Biden paid homage to his former boss by sporting a tan suit during former President Obama's birthday week. Flashback to 2014 when Obama sparked controversy for wearing a tan suit during an address about Russia and ISIS.If you have any tips, email us at nweixel@thehill.com, psullivan@thehill.com and jcoleman@thehill.com.Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8.Today: Half of the entire U.S. population is now vaccinated. New CDC research shows that previous COVID infection is not nearly as protective as vaccination and federal employees' vaccine requirement comes with teeth.

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