Joe Biden has announced a national “month of action” to try to get at least 70% of Americans vaccinated against coronavirus before the July 4 holiday.
Promoting the progress already made, and hanging the promise of a Covid-19 “summer of freedom” to those who resist getting an injection, the US President urged citizens, especially those under 40 years of age. , to play a role in the “wartime effort.” to defeat the virus.
In a 15-minute speech from the White House, he presented a five-point plan to achieve his July 4 goal, and commissioned Vice President Kamala Harris and other senior administration figures on a nationwide tour in the coming weeks to disseminate information on vaccination. .
Incentives for getting a vaccine, he said, include tax credits for employers and paid time off to get vaccinated, free child care for parents and caregivers to do, and free beer and courtesy transportation to and from vaccination appointments.
“It will take everyone from the federal government to state governments, local, tribal and territorial governments, and the private sector, and most importantly, the American people, to get to the 70% mark,” he said.
“America is heading for a dramatically different summer than last year, a summer of freedom, a summer of joy, a summer of meetings and celebrations, a totally American summer that this country deserves. He could even be invited to visit us at the White House in July to celebrate Independence together, “he added.
Biden announced the progress already made. “Fifty-two percent of adults are now fully vaccinated, including 75% of all older people,” he said.
“Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have achieved that 50% of adults are fully vaccinated. From January 20, [compared to] 15 months ago, the average daily cases dropped from 184,000 to 19,000. Average hospitalizations have dropped from 117,000 to 21,000, death rates have dropped more than 85%.
“[But] we still have work to do, especially we need people under 40 to step up. “
Biden said the government was partnering with state and local governments and companies to increase vaccination use rates.
The measures, he said, will include a “store shooting” initiative, working with barber shops and hair salons, among others, to provide vaccines during extended opening hours in an effort to encourage racial minorities. “Hair salons, beauty salons are centers of activity and information in black and brown communities in particular, but in many communities across the country,” he said.
Biden also noted that Americans are lucky to have such easy access to vaccines, saying, “All over the world, people are desperate for a vaccine that all Americans can get at their neighborhood pharmacy.”
The main pharmacies will be open 24 hours on Fridays until July 4; Four of the largest child care providers in the US will offer free child care for caregivers who get vaccinated or recover after vaccination; and Uber and Lyft will provide free transportation to appointments.
“We need everyone across the country to come together to get us to the finish line,” Biden said.
“I promise you we can do this. Just look at what we’ve already done. Let’s reach our goal of 70%, let’s enter the summer more free and safe, let’s celebrate a truly historic Independence Day. “