President Joe Biden announced a series of plans for the continued fight against COVID-19 during his first prime-time speech to the nation Thursday night, saying there is a "good chance" Americans will be able to gather in "small groups" by the Fourth of July.
As part of his agenda, Biden is directing every state to make coronavirus vaccines available to all adults by May 1.
What are the details?
The president said that he is "directing all states, tribes, and territories to make all adults eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1," and his administration is launching a new website that will assist citizens in making appointments for getting the shots.
"The U.S. is expecting delivery of enough doses for those 255 million adults by the end of that month, but the process of actually administering those doses will take time," the Associated Press reported.
"A July 4th with your loved ones is the goal," Biden said in his speech, adding that every American's assistance is needed in continuing to wear masks, socially distancing, and listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
.@POTUS: If everyone follows protocols and gets vaccinated and LISTENS TO DR. FAUCI, we will all have the chance to… https://t.co/ipxD1NBjLS— Pod Save America (@Pod Save America)1615512217.0
That message was reiterated by White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who told CNN, "This is a whole country effort. The president's deploying our entire government to do its part. The American people are going to have to do their part, too."
According to The New York Times:
Mr. Biden announced a series of new actions to speed up vaccinations, including new federal mass vaccination sites, an expanded partnership with pharmacies to distribute the vaccine, and the use of dentists, veterinarians, medical students and others to actually deliver the shots.
Biden said that as of Thursday, 527,726 Americans had died from COVID-19, which is "more deaths than WWI, WWII, the Vietnam War and 9/11 combined."
The president's address came hours after he signed a $1.9 trillion spending package billed as COVID-19 relief, which he said in his speech could "cut child poverty in half."
The legislation, dubbed the "American Rescue Plan," was passed without the support of a single GOP lawmaker. Two earlier coronavirus spending packages were passed with bipartisan support under President Donald Trump.
Democrats have hailed the latest legislation as a lifeline that will boost the economy, but Republicans argue the bill does little to fight the pandemic and is largely a pork-filled vehicle for fulfilling leftist wishes while further driving up the national debt.