Political News

Biden says US should be ‘closer to normal’ by 4 July as he unveils new Covid targets in first nationwide address

Joe Biden is to say life will have returned to a “kind of normal” by the Fourth of July, when he speaks to the nation.

In his first televised address during prime-time – a rite of passage for every president – he will demand that every American adult be eligible to receive one of the three approved vaccines against the disease by May 1.

With almost 30m Americans having been infected and at least 530,000 having lost their lives to the disease, Mr Biden will warn that the battle against the illness is “far from over”.

He will urge people to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, as the vaccine roll-out gathers pace.

Yet, he will also say the nation will be in a “far better place” by the Independence Day holiday if Americans wear those masks, follow public health guidelines and get vaccinated when it is their turn.

Speaking from the East Room of the White House a year to the day after his predecessor, Donald Trump, used an Oval Office address to announce that travel would be shut down from Europe as the pandemic took hold, Mr Biden will admit and reflect on the lingering devastation and impact of a virus that has wrecked so many lives and destroyed so many business.

Sean Hannity suggests Joe Biden never had a stutter before

As part of a plan to try and return life to a version of normalcy, he will announce the deployment of an additional 4,000 US troops to support coronavirus vaccination efforts, and greatly expand the number of people able to serve as vaccinators. 

Dentists, paramedics, physician assistants, veterinarians and medical students will become eligible to administer vaccinations under the new guidance, according to White House officials who briefed the media on background ahead of the president’s speech.

With more than 81m Americans having received a least shot of a vaccine, the president is also expected to announce new measures to push forward with the reopening of schools, something that has been of intense concerns to parents not just in America, but around the world.

His speech is taking place the same day he signed into law a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package, the American Rescue Plan, that will help provide money into the hands of millions of Americans, and help fund more vaccination roll out, and testing.

It contains $130bn to help schools pay for mitigation, staff and other accommodations to try and protect against the spread of infection.

Mr Biden, 50 days into his presidency, told reporters on Wednesday he was planning to talk about “what comes next”.

“There is light at the end of this dark tunnel of the past year, but we cannot let our guard down now or assume that victory is inevitable. Together, we’re going to get through this pandemic and usher in a healthier and more hopeful future,” he said.

He added: “There’s real reason for hope, I promise you.”

Additional reporting by agencies

Source: Biden says US should be ‘closer to normal’ by 4 July as he unveils new Covid targets in first nationwide address

Back to top button