President Joe Biden delivered his first prime-time White House address on Thursday, March 11. During this address, President Biden spoke about the one-year anniversary of the Covid-19 shutdown and his plans to “mark our independence from this virus” by the Fourth of July.
Throughout the 24-minute solemn, yet also optimistic address, President Biden focused on the sacrifices Americans have had to make over the last year due to COVID-19 and directed states to make vaccines available for adults by May 1.
“…This virus has kept us apart. Grandparents haven’t seen their children or grandchildren. Parents haven’t seen their kids. Kids haven’t seen their friends. The things we used to do that always filled us with joy have become things we couldn’t do and broke our hearts.”
“At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, they’re on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives, and still, still they’re forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it must stop.”
In addition to recognizing the sacrifices many Americans have made, President Biden’s address offered a renewed sense of optimism as he recognized the one-year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared the spread of the virus as a global pandemic which later sent the nation and world into a health and economic crisis. With an optimistic tone, President Biden hopes that with continued vigilance friends and families may be able to get together to celebrate the nation’s independence.
“If we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” the president said.
President Biden’s address was a complete contrast to the often rambling and defensive comments made by former President Donald Trump, who claimed a year ago that “the risk is very, very low” for most Americans and predicted that the country would defeat this virus.
Throughout the address, President Biden sought to balance empathy for more than 529,000 lives lost. In addition, he declared that Americans are owed nothing less than the truth, no matter the circumstance.
“My fellow Americans, you’re owed nothing less than the truth. And for all of you asking when things will get back to normal, here is the truth. The only way to get our lives back, to get our economy back on track is to beat the virus. You have been hearing me say that for—while I was running and the last 50 days I have been president.”
President Biden warned that a return to a normal summer would require the public to wear their masks, social distance and sign up to be vaccinated.
“We’re also working with governors and mayors in red states and blue states to set up and support nearly 600 federally supported vaccination centers that administer hundreds of thousands of shots per day. You can drive up to a stadium or a large parking lot, get your shot, never leave your car, and drive home in less than an hour.”
Biden’s plan is to ultimately allow small gatherings by the Fourth of July and to make all American adults eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine no later than May 1.