“We have made tremendous progress in the United States. Much of the country is returning to normal and our economic recovery is leading the world and the number of cases and deaths is dropping dramatically, but there are still too many lives lost, ”Biden said, noting that the United States are still averaging around 370 per day. deaths from the virus.
“My heart goes out to all who have lost a loved one,” Biden continued. “I know that black hole that seems to consume you, that fills your chest when you lose a loved one you adored. “
Biden then called on Americans who haven’t received a dose to do so “as soon as possible.”
“If you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated. Get vaccinated as soon as possible. We have lots of vaccines, lots of sites. We still have work to do to defeat this virus and now is not the time to let our guard down, ”Biden said.
Biden made the comments at the start of a press conference following a NATO summit in Brussels as part of his first trip abroad as president.
To date, more than 599,900 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Biden has set a goal of vaccinating 70% of American adults with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. While 13 states have reached that threshold, others are lagging behind and Biden seems increasingly unlikely to meet that target.
Nationally, 64.5% of Americans over 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The White House has embarked on a multi-pronged effort to address vaccine problems, deliver hard-to-reach doses to Americans and get people to get vaccinated within the next month. Earlier Monday, Vice President Harris launched a vaccination tour in South Carolina.
“Vaccines – let me repeat – are safe. They are safe. And they are free. And they are effective. And it’s that easy. If you are vaccinated, you are protected. If your community is vaccinated, the rates of COVID in your community will decrease, ”said Harris in Greenville, SC
Health experts have voiced concerns over a dangerous new variant of the Delta against which a single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is decidedly less effective, according to a British study.