He also warned about the dangers of the Delta COVID-19 variant.
The president arrived in North Carolina about 15 minutes later than expected Thursday afternoon.
He was a little late after talking around noon. 14 om en new bipartisan infrastructure agreement.
His first stop was at the mobile vaccination gathered at the Green Road Community Center. There, he met with frontline workers and volunteers who helped get people vaccinated.
He was also joined by Governor Roy Cooper.
Around. At 5.30 pm he spoke to the country and encouraged vaccinations as the Delta variant spread. He hailed the successes of the United States in vaccinating people so far, but largely brushed across the country and missed his target of a 70% partial vaccination rate by 4 July.
“This new, dangerous variant continues to emerge,”
He used the Fourth of July to motivate unvaccinated people to get their shots.
“People, let’s really let this be the summer with joy and freedom,” he said. “Let it really happen. Let’s celebrate the Fourth of July with the independence of the virus.”
Biden said the vaccine is the best way to fight COVID-19.
“Science is clear,” he said. “The best way to protect yourself from the virus and the variants is to be fully vaccinated. It works. It’s free. It’s safe. It’s easy. It’s convenient.”
Ive Jones, Apex Friendship High Degree and current freshman at Princeton Introduces President Biden at NE Raleigh Vaccination Meeting # abc11 pic.twitter.com/wLYLqmVykn
– Joel Brown (@ JoelBrownABC11) June 24, 2021
“If you are not vaccinated, do not expose it anymore,” he said. “Just do it.”
Ive Jones, a Princeton student and Apex Friendship High School graduate, introduced Biden at the event. Earlier this month, she partnered with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to distribute masks, sunglasses and COVID-19 vaccine information to Durham’s McDougald Terrace community.
‘I could not have expected this in a million years’: Wake up teenager to open for Biden during NC visit
In North Carolina, only 55% of adults are at least partially vaccinated. However, 82% of the population is 65 years and older and at least partially vaccinated.
Wake County says 70% of its adults have had at least one dose.
Republicans who noted that the vaccination effort was developed and initiated under former President Trump’s administration disagreed.
“This is not a victory shot for President Biden,” said Cassie Smedile, CEO of America Rising PAC and a former spokeswoman for RNC. “This is a hat for the hard-working North Carolines who have worked to get their businesses open and get their state back on track and in many ways have done so despite the federal government being so harsh.”
Nevertheless, the White House says it is not letting go of its vaccination efforts. The White House continues to roll out increasingly localized programs to encourage specific communities to be vaccinated.
A drop in vaccination rates was always expected by the White House, but not as sharply as has been shown to be the case. The extent of American reluctance to be vaccinated remains a source of global curiosity, especially as many nations are still looking for doses to protect their most vulnerable populations.
When the 70% target was first announced by Biden seven weeks ago, an average of more than 800,000 Americans received their first vaccine dose each day – down from a height of nearly 2 million a day in early April. Now the number is below 300,000.
Paradoxically, officials believe the strong response to the early vaccination campaign has helped reduce the motivation to get a shot at some. One of the most powerful motivators for people to be vaccinated was the high rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Now that these numbers have dropped to levels not seen since the onset of the pandemic, officials say it has become harder to convince Americans of the urgency of getting a shot – especially for younger populations who already knew they had a low risk of serious complications from viruses.
Separately, two officials involved in shaping the 70% target said officials knew 65% would have been a safer effort, but they said the White House wanted to reach a figure that was closer to the experts’ projections of what would be needed for herd immunity. to reduce cases and deaths. Aiming for the higher target, officials said, was considered to add to the urgency of the campaign and likely increase the vaccination rate over where it would have been with a more modest target.
Other officials said the White House, which has always described the vaccination campaign as “tough”, nevertheless could not understand some Americans’ opposition to getting a shot when it set the 70% target.
“The hesitation among younger Americans and among Trump voters has been too hard to overcome,” said GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who has worked with the White House and external groups to promote vaccinations. “They think they are making a statement by refusing to be vaccinated. For Trump voters, it is a political statement. For younger adults, it is about telling the world that they are immune.”
About the White House, Luntz said, “I think they did as good a job as they could have done.”
The White House points to everything the nation has accomplished to downplay the importance of the goals it will miss.
Back in March, Biden projected a fourth July holiday where Americans could safely gather in small groups for outdoor barbecues – a milestone that the United States reached months ago. Almost all states have lifted their virus restrictions, businesses and schools are open, and large collections are resumed nationwide.
“The most important measurement at the end of the day is: What are we able to do in our lives? How much of the ‘normal’ have we been able to restore? ‘” Said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. “And I think “What we see now is that we have exceeded our expectations.”
The White House has also tricked the vaccination figures in new ways to put a positive spin on the situation. On Tuesday, the administration announced that 70% of adults over the age of 30 have been vaccinated – removing the most hesitant population from the denominator. But even those statistics gloss over lower vaccination rates among middle-aged adults (62.4% for those aged 40-49 years) and millennia (52.8% for those aged 25-39).
The difficulties of the administration are all the more remarkable in view of what had been an unbroken series of met vaccination targets. Prior to joining in December, Biden promised to vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his presidency – a rate that the United States exceeded when he was sworn in. Within a few days, he proposed a target of 150 million and eventually easily reached a revised target of 200 million shots in the first 100 days.
The city’s target of 70% was also achievable, say officials – if they are too ambitious in retrospect – but critically less relied on the government’s ability to provide shots and build capacity to inject them and more on individuals’ willingness to be vaccinated.
“We did it as a team and stood very strongly or solely on the doctors and researchers,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Tuesday about how the goals were chosen.
More importantly, the 70% statistic, officials said, is the large regional disparities in vaccination with a state like Vermont vaccinating more than 80% of the population, while some in the south and west are below 50%. Within states, there is even greater variation. In Missouri, some southern and northern counties are missing just over 40%, and one county is only 13%.
When the delta variant, first identified in India, gained traction in the United States, officials say the next vaccination increase may not come from incentives like lotteries or gifts, but from renewed fears of disease and preventable death. Other officials project a significant increase in vaccine intake when the shots, which have received emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration, receive final approval from the agency.
Towards the end of the month, another Biden goal was also in doubt.
Last month, the president set a goal of sending 80 million COVID-19 excess vaccine doses abroad by the end of June. U.S. officials say the doses are ready to go, but that regulatory and legal roadblocks in the recipient countries are slowing deliveries beyond what was expected.
About 10 million have been sent so far, including 3 million sent Wednesday to Brazil. Shipments are expected to pick up in the last days of the month, but it is unlikely to be reached by June 30.
It takes time to share a life-saving and delicate vaccine, a White House official said, but the administration expects to share “every drop” of the promised doses.
ABC News contributed.
Copyright © 2021 ABC11-WTVD-TV / DT. All rights reserved – Associated Press contributed to this report.