Biden calls for vaccine eligibility for all adults by May 1

Katie Ramirez
March 12, 2021

President Joe Biden told USA states to make all adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by May 1 and urged Americans to stay vigilant or face more restrictions, hours after he signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law.

"This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation - working people and middle-class folks, the people who built the country - a fighting chance", Biden said before signing. But as the financial stimulus from the newly enacted relief bill reaches a growing number of vaccinated people, Biden offered cautious optimism to a country that, like the rest of the world, is exhausted of pandemic restrictions and economic pain. The U.S.is expecting to have enough doses for those 255 million adults by the end of that month, but the process of actually administering those doses will take time.

"Every adult will be eligible to get their shot".

The White House will compel state, local, and tribal governments to make Covid-19 vaccines available to all American adults no later than May 1, Biden administration officials said on Thursday.

That includes deploying 4,000 additional military troops to support vaccination efforts, bringing the total number deployed to 6,000, and expanding the pool of vaccinators to include dentists, paramedics, veterinarians and other medical professionals.

Most noticeable to many Americans are provisions providing up to $1,400 in direct payments, some of which could begin landing in bank accounts this weekend, and extending $300 weekly emergency unemployment benefits into early September. "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. "The American people are going to have to do their part, too".

Biden will hit the road next week to promote the package in a nationwide tour. Republicans in both chambers opposed the legislation unanimously, characterizing it as bloated, crammed with liberal policies and heedless of signs the crises are easing.

Biden's initial prime-time speech was "a big moment", said presidential historian and Rice University professor Douglas Brinkley.

A woman receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Hartford Hospital in Hartford Connecticut
A woman receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Hartford Hospital in Hartford Connecticut

"I need you. I need you to get vaccinated when it's your turn ... if we do all this ... by July the 4th, there's a good chance you, your families and friends, will be able to get together in your backyard or your neighborhood and have a cookout", Biden said in the address.

Biden's evening remarks in the East Room were central to a pivotal week for the president as he addresses the defining challenge of his term: shepherding the nation through the twin public health and economic storms brought about by the virus.

"These dollars will help schools pay for the critical supplies to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended mitigation strategies, hire more staff - and avoid laying off current staff - to accommodate the need for smaller class sizes due to physical distancing, and support children's academic, social and emotional needs after a challenging year", a White House fact sheet reads.

Earlier in the day, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, created to be a financial bridge to hard-hit Americans and a boost to the economy, in the Oval Office with Vice President Kamala Harris at his side.

Nearly exactly one year ago, former president Donald Trump addressed the nation to mark the WHO's declaration of a global pandemic.

In his first primetime address as President, Mr Biden said he wanted the country to be "closer to normal" by July 4 - Independence Day.

Republicans swiftly criticized Biden for his cautious approach. Trump, it was later revealed, acknowledged that he had been deliberately "playing down" the threat of the virus.

Ogun receives 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine
CDC guidelines stating vaccinated people can hold maskless gatherings with people in their home, including non-vaccinated people. Three COVID-19 variants have been confirmed in OH , but the state's chief medical officer says he's not too anxious about them.

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