P.President Joe Biden urged the Americans to vaccinate on the national holiday in order to achieve “independence” from the coronavirus together. Getting vaccinated is the “most patriotic” thing citizens could do now, Biden said on Sunday evening (local time), Independence Day, in the garden of the White House. “So please: If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, do it. Do it now. For yourself, for your loved ones, for your community, for your country. “
Thanks to the vaccination campaign, the US is “closer than ever to declaring its independence from the deadly virus,” stressed Biden. The virus has not yet been defeated, and there are new dangerous variants. “But the best defense against these variants is to get vaccinated,” said Biden. Thanks to the vaccinations, the virus no longer controls people’s lives, “it no longer paralyzes our country, and it is in our power to ensure that it never happens again”.
Biden celebrated the holiday with a big barbecue in the garden of the White House for around 1000 invited guests. These included many soldiers, health workers and their families. After sunset, the usual July 4th fireworks were set off across Washington’s historic promenade not far from the White House, the National Mall. Thousands of people had gathered there. In the evening, television pictures also showed large crowds in other cities such as Nashville and New York at boisterous celebrations and open-air concerts.
70 percent target missed
Independence Day was also of particular importance this year because Biden wanted to have achieved a new vaccination goal by then. However, despite numerous vaccination incentives and a large supply of vaccines, the target was not achieved. By Sunday, 70 percent of all adults should have received at least one vaccine dose. So far, however, only 67 percent, or 173 million people, got at least the first vaccination, data from the CDC showed. A good 58 percent of all adults are already fully vaccinated.
The White House had already admitted at the end of June that the vaccination target could not be achieved. On average, around one million people are vaccinated every day – significantly less than the more than three million at the height of the vaccination campaign in spring. In relation to the total population of around 330 million people, 55 percent have now received at least the first injection. In Germany there are a little more.
Skepticism about major events
Biden’s Barbecue Festival was the largest event at the White House since he began his tenure in January, when only a few million people in the country were vaccinated. However, some health professionals are concerned about the government’s return to major events. They fear that, given the rapidly spreading delta variant of the coronavirus, such celebrations could give the wrong impression that the pandemic is over and can be celebrated again at will.
Especially in more rural states, in which the vaccination rate is sometimes well below the national average, the number of new infections has recently risen again. On average, there are now a good 13,000 new infections every day across the country.
Many states are already offering incentives such as high cash prizes to encourage reluctant people to get vaccinated. Surveys suggest, however, that the vaccination campaign is now likely to progress more and more slowly because around 20 percent of Americans reject the vaccinations. A negative attitude is particularly widespread among Republicans.
In the USA, the vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna are mainly used, that of Johnson & Johnson plays a lesser role and the AstraZeneca vaccine is not approved. The government has secured plenty of vaccine and has already started distributing millions of doses to other countries.