Celebrating nation’s birth, Biden calls for vaccination to end COVID-19 By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President Joe Biden poses with supporters after visiting King Orchards Farm in Central Lake, Michigan, United States July 3, 2021. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts

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By Trevor Hunnicutt

(Reuters) – US President Joe Biden celebrated the nation’s 245th birthday on Sunday by opening the doors of the White House and calling on Americans to do their part to end the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all.

“This year, July 4 is a special day of celebration as we emerge from the darkness of a year of pandemic and isolation, a year of pain, fear and heartbreaking loss,” Biden said during a White House party open to around 1,000 people, including military families and workers involved in the COVID-19 response.

The biggest White House event since Biden took office in January included burgers and fireworks and aimed to give Americans something to celebrate as signs of normalcy returned following a coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 600,000 Americans.

Still, the country has failed to meet Biden’s goals of having 70% of American adults receiving at least one vaccine by Sunday. The figure is around 67% as some people have resisted the injection causing concern among health officials as the more aggressive Delta variant threatens to generate another flare.

Biden mourned the deaths, praised Americans who helped with the country’s emergency response, and said vaccines were the best defense against newer variants of the virus.

“It’s the most patriotic thing you can do,” Biden said of the vaccination.

But the Biden administration was also eager to celebrate what it sees as its iconic accomplishment – restoring some normalcy to a country weary of the restrictions and hardships of the pandemic, burdens that have eased but have not gone away. with the widespread availability of vaccines.

The pandemic forced almost all celebrations last year to be canceled and led to a toned down nomination in January for the Democratic president, who had to do without the traditional black-tie galas and bipartisan committee as the former Republican President Donald Trump was contesting his electoral defeat.

Fortress-like security around Washington after the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol was relaxed as crowds marked Britain’s declaration of independence in 1776.

The fences surrounding the White House were drastically reduced and the streets on Sunday filled with people who took photos of the president’s motorcade returning from a relaxed weekend at a Michigan cherry farm, the golf course and his family home in Delaware.

After the speech, the president and guests were to witness a 17-minute fireworks display set off from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool (NASDAQ :).

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