President Joe Biden delivered a prime-time address to American citizens this week to mark the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being officially declared a pandemic.
During his remarks, the president offered a dose of optimism, predicting that American life can begin its return to normal by Independence Day as long as we all “do our part,” as Breitbart reported.
“When you can find an opportunity”
Aiming at July 4 — roughly 16 months after concerns about the virus began to spike nationwide — as a date on which Americans can once again safely gather, Biden stressed the importance of maintaining safe practices and signing up to receive a vaccine in the meantime.
His speech from the White House on Thursday marked the first prime-time address of his presidency.
While he expressed confidence in his timeline, Biden made it clear that inoculations will play a major role in whether it becomes reality.
“I need you to get vaccinated when it’s your turn, and when you can find an opportunity,” the president said.
Touting his own administration’s efforts to coordinate the delivery of the vaccines nationwide, Biden said that he expects to have enough doses available to inoculate all U.S. adults by the end of May. To aid in the pursuit, he said he is considering a plan to allow dentists, paramedics, and even veterinarians to administer doses.
“Have a cookout or a barbeque”
Biden went on to say that he would be directing every state to make the vaccine available to all adults by May 1. Thus far, roughly 10% of the American population has been vaccinated.
If everything goes according to plan, Biden said that there is a “good chance” citizens can gather in “small groups” by July 4.
“If we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the fourth, 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 barbeque and celebrate Independence Day,” he said.
The president emphasized, however, that he was not referring to “large events with lots of people together,” but instead believed that “small groups will be able to get together.”
White House senior coronavirus response adviser Andy Slavitt is reportedly on board with the timeline, though he also stressed that it remained contingent on getting vaccine shots in the arms of as many Americans as possible. For her part, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki advised Americans that they should expect to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing even in July.