Biden FINALLY hits his vaccine goal! White House announces 70% of adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine one month after missing its target
- White House announces that more than 70 percent of adults have received at least one vaccine dose
- Officials had set July 4 as target date but stopped mentioning it as it became clear it would be missed
- The U.S. death toll now stands at 613,000 and the global number is more than 4 million
The White House announced on Monday it had finally hit its target of delivering at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 70 percent of the adult population – almost a month after its original deadline.
President Biden had set a July 4 target, promising a ‘summer of freedom’ as the country reopened.
Bu the milestone will come as a relief to health officials as they battle a surge in coronavirus cases, fueled by the highly infectious Delta variant and vaccine resistance among some sections of society.
A day earlier, Florida broke its record for coronavirus hospitalizations.
White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar made the announcement on Twitter.
‘Milestone Monday just in: Today we hit 70% of adults w/ at least one dose! +468K doses reported administered, incl. 320K newly vaccinated (vs. 257K last Monday),’ he wrote.
‘7-day average of newly vaccinated highest since July 4. Let’s continue working to get more eligible vaccinated!’
President Biden initially set July 4 as a target to reach 70 percent of the population with at least one vaccine dose in May. At the time the country was on course to hit the milestone but vaccination rates dropped off
Cyrus Shahpar, White House COVID-19 data director, used Twitter to announce that the White House had reached its goal of getting at least one dose to 70 percent of Americans
Officials say the Delta variant and the reluctance of young people to get vaccinated has triggered a surge in coronavirus cases
Cases are rising around the U.S. driven by the highly infectious Delta variant, prompting fresh warnings and mask mandates as officials try to reduce the risk
Biden announced the July 4 target in May.
‘If we succeed in this effort, as we did with the last, then Americans will have taken a serious step towards a return to normal: That’s July 4th,’ he said.
But officials stopped mentioning the goal when it was clear it would not be met.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said he believed the recent surge in cases may have changed minds and driven more vaccinations.
In the past two weeks, he said rates had increased by 56 percent.
‘This may be a tipping point for those who have been hesitant to say, “OK, it’s time,”‘ he told CNN on Sunday.
‘I hope that’s what’s happening. That’s what desperately needs to happen if we’re going to get this Delta variant put back in its place.’
The increase in cases has federal officials, mayors and governors grappling once again with mask mandates and other measures to halt the spread.
On Sunday Florida reported 10,207 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That topped the previous record of 10,170 in July last year – long before a vaccine was available.
The head of Florida’s hospital association said that although death rates remained below the previous high there were worrying numbers of young people in hospital.
‘It is a much younger population that is being hospitalized today,’ Mary Mayhew told MSNBC, adding that it was vital to get the vaccination message out to younger people.
‘We have 25-year-olds in the hospital in intensive care on ventilators.’
At the weekend, the country’s most senior infectious disease expert warned that things would get worse before they get better.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci said he did not think lockdowns would return.
‘I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country – not enough to crush the outbreak – but I believe enough to allow us to not get into the situation we were in last winter,’ he told Jonathan Karl of ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
In a sign of the concern, last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its guidance on masks for fully vaccinated people.
It said everyone in areas of high or substantial disease transmission should now wear face coverings indoors, citing new evidence on how vaccinated people could spread the disease.