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Kamis, 11 Maret 2021

Joe Biden: All American adults to receive COVID-19 vaccine by May - Sydney Morning Herald

By Matthew Knott
Updated

Washington: All American adults will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination by May and life in the US should resemble something close to normal by the 4th of July holiday, President Joe Biden has announced in an optimistic speech to the nation.

Biden delivered his first prime-time television address as President just hours after signing into law a massive $2.5 trillion COVID-19 relief package and on the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus outbreak officially being declared a pandemic.

Biden said he could see “hope and light of better days ahead” after a torrid twelve months in which 530,000 Americans have died of the virus.

“Over a year ago no-one could have imagined what we were about to go through,” Biden said. “But now, we’re coming through it.”

He continued: “If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon. Our economy will be on the mend. Our kids will be back in school. We’ll have proven, once again, that this country can do anything, hard things, big things, important things.”

Biden said he will direct US states to make the vaccine available to all American adults by May 1, a significant ramping up of his administration’s previous vaccination timeline.

The ambitious pledge reflects an expected surge in supply in vaccine doses over coming months.

Biden said his administration is set to hits its target of 100 million vaccinations on his 60th day in office, easily beating his original 100-day target.

US President Joe Biden has scored the first major legislative victory of his presidency.

US President Joe Biden has scored the first major legislative victory of his presidency. Credit:EPA

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Biden said that, if Americans get vaccinated and continue to follow public health advice, they should be able to gather together with friends and families for July 4 celebrations.

“After this long, hard year, that will make this independence Day something truly special,” he said.

“Where we not only mark our independence as a nation but we begin to mark our independence from this virus.”

New daily COVID cases in the US have plummeted to around 60,000 from a peak of 250,000 in early January and deaths have also dropped sharply.

Meanwhile, around two million Americans are being vaccinated each day, up from around 900,000 a day when Biden was inaugurated.

Almost one in five Americans have now received at least one vaccine dose.

Biden said the past year had inflicted an extraordinary emotional toll on Americans who have been separated from their loved ones.

“We are fundamentally a people who want to be with each other to talk, to laugh, to love, to hold one another,” Biden said.

“But this virus has kept us apart. Grandparents haven’t seen their children or grandchildren. Parents haven’t seen their kids. Kids haven’t seen their friends. The things we used to do that always filled us with joy have become things we couldn’t do, and broke our hearts.”

Biden condemned a well-documented rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans during the pandemic, saying: “It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it must stop.”

No American should be “forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America” because of their racial background, Biden said.

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2021-03-12 00:46:02Z
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