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President Joe Biden speaks on the anniversary of the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in America, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 11.
President Joe Biden speaks on the anniversary of the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in America, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 11. Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images
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US President Joe Biden pinned America’s hopes for a return to normalcy on two key dates: May 1, when he wants all adults to be eligible for the vaccine; and July 4, when he said Americans might be able to celebrate Independence Day in person.

In his first prime-time televised speech last night, Biden stepped up the nation’s “war footing” to help defeat the virus. He announced that he was ordering all states, tribes and territories to make all adults eligible for vaccination by May 1, saying his administration would build the infrastructure of clinics, vaccine doses and medical staff. to make this perspective a reality.

But the president also called on the American people to do their part.

“I won’t give in until we beat this virus. But I need you, the American people… I need every American to do their part,” Biden said. “I need you to get the vaccine when it’s your turn and when you can find an opportunity.” And to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated too.

Biden seemed optimistic about the progress of the vaccination rollout. He shifted his goal of getting 100 million shots in people’s arms from his first 100 days in the White House to his 60th day in office, saying the United States would maintain and beat its current rate of 2 million shots. per day.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 33.9 million Americans are now fully immunized.

If everyone’s doing their part, Biden said, “By July 4th, there’s a good chance you, your family and friends can get together in your backyard or neighborhood and have a barbecue and barbecue. and celebrate independence day. “

But this message of unity could not be further from the battles over security measures emerging across the country. In Texas, state attorney general Ken Paxton is now suing Austin executives for upholding local mask requirements, claiming they are illegally defying the governor’s order ending a term in office. statewide.

Paxton’s trial sets the stage for the latest showdown in a long-running nationwide clash over public health rules that often runs counter to political lines. Sixteen states do not have a statewide mask rule and there are growing divisions between local and state leaders over which public health measures should remain in place.

Experts are clear on the matter: The number of daily cases in the United States remains high and – as Biden’s chief medical adviser on Covid-19 Dr Anthony Fauci told CBS last night – is ” absolutely not “low enough to relax public health measures.”

Watch President Biden's full speech in prime time - CNN Video

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