Biden Calls on Nation to Get Vaccinated and Beat COVID
On March 11, as I watched President Joe Biden address the nation on the anniversary of the the World Health Organization announcement that COVID had become a global pandemic, I was reminded of one of Rachel Maddow’s favorite comments: “What a difference a president makes.”
The contrast between Biden and former President Donald Trump was so stark; it made me wonder how we got through the last four years. In fact, many of us didn’t make it. As Biden noted, as of March 11, 527,726 people had died from the virus. How many of those might have been saved if Trump had told the truth about the virus, if he had acted more quickly, if he had encouraged mask wearing, if he had developed a national plan of action? So many ifs that we may never be able to answer.
Now here was Biden, empathetic and understanding, armed with a national plan, urging all Americans to join together to beat COVID-19. He urged all of us to wash hands, keep social distancing, and keep wearing masks. Most importantly, he urged all of us to get vaccinated.
Biden also asked everyone to “come together as one nation, one people” to get through “one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history.” Two months ago, the nation did not have enough vaccines, he said, but by the end of May, the US will have enough vaccines for every person in the country. He called it a “true miracle of science.”
Places for people to get the vaccine, especially for Black and Brown communities that lack access, are being expanded exponentially, Biden said. That includes 600 federally supported vaccine centers, community health centers, and mobile health centers. The president predicted that by July 4, small groups of people will be able to come together to celebrate. We will be able to “not only mark our independence as a nation,” he said, “but we will begin to mark our independence from this virus.”
President Biden also announced that, no later than May 1, all adults in every state will be eligible to be vaccinated. In addition, the US will launch new tools to make it easier for people to find a vaccine, including a national web site. As most people become vaccinated, the nation will begin moving towards normalcy. Biden noted that, with passage of the American Rescue Plan, there’s already a massive effort to reopen K-8 schools.
This bill is a game changer on so many levels. The bill has been estimated to cut child poverty in half, and millions of people’s lives will be made better by those $1,400 stimulus checks. None of this would have been possible under Trump. As Rachel Maddow says, “What a difference a president makes.”