President Joe Biden speaks out on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on May 17, 2021.
Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden warned on Monday that the number of coronavirus cases in US states with low Covid-19 vaccination rates could rise again.
For the first time since the pandemic began over a year ago, Covid-19 cases have declined in all 50 states, Biden said at a White House press conference on the nation’s progress in fighting the virus. This progress can still be reversed, especially in states where only a small percentage of people have been vaccinated.
“We know there will be strides and setbacks, and we know there can be many flare-ups that can occur,” said Biden. “But when the unvaccinated are vaccinated, they protect themselves and other unvaccinated people around them.”
He said it would be an unnecessary “tragedy” to see Covid cases among those who are not vaccinated.
“I want to thank the American people for doing their patriotic duty and vaccinating,” he said.
Biden’s comments on Monday were just his latest attempt to get Americans vaccinated as soon as possible.
Biden’s government is pushing for 70% of adults in the US to receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and 160 million adults to be fully vaccinated by July 4. Biden hopes this will mark a turning point in the pandemic.
As of Monday, more than 154 million American adults, or 59.7% of adults in the United States, had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, around 121 million American adults, or 47.1% of adults in the United States, are fully vaccinated.
The states with the highest number of doses given per 100,000 people include New Hampshire, New Mexico, Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, according to CDC data.
Biden said it was “easy as always” to get a Covid vaccine as many vaccination centers in the US offer walk-ins.
On Thursday, the CDC announced in updated public health guidelines that fully vaccinated people will no longer need to wear face masks or stay 6 feet away from others in most environments, whether outdoors or indoors. Many public health experts saw the move as yet another incentive for the administration to get vaccinated.
Earlier Monday, the White House announced that the US would send millions of additional doses of Covid vaccine abroad, which are still ravaged by the pandemic.
At least 20 million vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are expected to be shipped by the end of June, the White House said. This is on top of 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine that are also slated to be shipped by then, unless US regulatory approval has been obtained