July 7 (PTI) – US President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the US is predicted to reach the mark of 160 million fully vaccinated Americans by the end of this week and asserted that the country is closer than ever to declaring its independence from the deadly virus.
Noting that COVID-19 cases and deaths are down by 90 per cent since January, he said millions of fully vaccinated Americans are now living their lives as they did before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today after receiving a briefing from my entire COVID-19 team, I’m proud to announce that we’re getting even closer, because of our wartime effort, to administer 300 million shots in arms in just 150 days. More than 182 million Americans have received at least one shot, including nearly 90 per cent of seniors and 70 per cent of adults over the age of 27,” Biden said.
“By the end of this week, we’ll have reached the mark of 160 million fully vaccinated Americans. That’s a goal I set in March that I’m thrilled we’re going to hit just a few days after July the Fourth. So, we will have 160 million fully vaccinated Americans — up from roughly three million when we took office five months ago,” he said after receiving a briefing from his entire Covid team.
Biden said businesses are reopening and projected economic growth is the highest it’s been in four decades.
“The bottom line is: The virus is on the run, and America is coming back. We’re coming back together. This is one of the greatest achievements in American history, and you, the American people, made it happen,” he said.
At the same time, the president said America’s fight against the virus is not over as a large number of people are still unvaccinated because of which their communities are at risk.
“This is an even bigger concern because of the Delta variant,” he said, adding that the Delta variant is already responsible for half of all cases in many parts of the country.
Biden said it’s more easily transmissible and potentially more dangerous.
“It seems to me that it should cause everybody to think twice. And it should cause reconsideration, especially in young people who may have thought that they didn’t have to be vaccinated, didn’t have to worry about it, or didn’t have to do anything about it up to now,” he said.
The president said the good news is that vaccines are highly effective.
“Fully vaccinated Americans have a high degree of protection, including against this Delta variant. Study after study after study has shown that, since early May, virtually every COVID-19 hospitalisation and death in the US has been among the unvaccinated,” Biden said.