Washington — President Biden delivered remarks on Tuesday on his administration's ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, making a personal appeal for Americans to get vaccinated after the country fell short of his goal of 70% of American adults receiving at least one dose ofvaccine by July 4.
"The best thing you can do to protect yourself, and your family, and the people you care about the most, is get vaccinated," Mr. Biden said. "Please get vaccinated."
The president announced that more than 182 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He also said that by the end of the week, 160 million Americans will have received both doses.
The president urged Americans to get vaccinated, particularly because it is effective against the Delta variant of the virus, which he said is "more easily transmissible" and "potentially more dangerous."
"If you're vaccinated, you're protected. If you're unvaccinated, you're not," Mr. Biden, reiterating that getting vaccinated "is a patriotic thing to do."
Mr. Biden said that his administration would dedicate the rest of the summer to vaccinate the remainder of Americans, with an emphasis on reaching people through their communities, working with local pharmacies, family doctors, urging more employers to offer vaccines at work, and implementing more mobile clinics.
Mr. Biden also said that he will remobilizing COVID-19 "surge response teams" comprised of officials from government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Response Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help states respond to the spread of the Delta variant and investigate outbreaks.
The president received a briefing from the White House COVID-19 Response Team ahead of his remarks Tuesday afternoon.
The U.S. is currently averaging fewer than 400,000 first doses per day, according to figures published by the CDC. When Mr. Biden announced his goal to have 70% of adults vaccinated on May 4, the country was averaging more than 820,000 first doses a day — close to what would have been needed then to reach the goal.
In, Mr. Biden said the country is emerging from the "darkest of years, a year of pandemic and isolation, a year of pain, fear and heartbreaking loss." Mr. Biden said that COVID-19 "no longer controls our lives, it no longer paralyzes our nation and it's within our power to make sure it never does again."
"But the best defense against these variants is to get vaccinated," Mr. Biden said. "My fellow Americans, it is the most patriotic thing you can do — so please, if you haven't gotten vaccinated, do it, do it now. Do it for yourself, for your loved ones, for your community and for your country."