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Friday, March 12, 2021

Covid-19 fight is far from over – Biden

Covid-19 fight is far from over – Biden






President Joe Biden on Thursday offered his Covid-weary nation a tantalizing glimpse of an almost normal July 4th, outlining in a speech how the United States can defeat the coronavirus if people stay united on prevention measures and get vaccinated.

“This fight is far from over,” Biden said in his first televised primetime address as president, marking 12 months since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.

Delivering an emotional tribute to the more than 530,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 over the last 12 months, Biden said “While it was different for everyone, we all lost something: a collective suffering, a collective sacrifice.”

But he raised hope that the country hardest hit by the global pandemic could overcome the virus if Americans work together and follow health experts’ guidelines on wearing masks and getting vaccinated.

“Just as we are emerging from a dark winter into a hopeful spring and summer is not the time to not stick with the rules,” he said.

If Americans stay the course, they may be able to mark their cherished July 4th national holiday in somewhat normal circumstances, he said.

“If we do this together, by July the 4th, there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” he said.

 



“That will make this Independence Day something truly special where we not only mark our independence as a nation but we begin to mark our independence from this virus.”

The United States leads the world in Covid-19 deaths, but it is now surging ahead of European countries and Canada with vaccine production and distribution.

Biden said his initial goal of one million vaccinations administered every day was already being easily surpassed and he planned for the authorities to be “maintaining, beating our current pace of two million shots a day.”

To reinforce that huge effort, Biden said he was ordering every state in the country to remove priority group restrictions by May 1, thereby allowing any adult regardless of age or other conditions to be vaccinated.

The Democrat’s bid to get the country back on its feet received a huge boost this week when Congress passed his $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package dubbed the American Rescue Plan.

Biden says this will give poorer families a “fighting chance” and help fire up the engines of the world’s biggest economy, something the IMF said Thursday could also help ignite global recovery.

 



The president said in his speech that the plan “meets the moment” and “if it fails at any point, I will acknowledge that it failed — but it will not.”

“There is light and better days ahead,” he said.



AFP

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