On US bank holidays, Biden celebrates victory over Covid-19, not the end of the war

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Faced with the rapid spread of the Delta variant, the US president on Sunday called on Americans to get vaccinated, “the most patriotic action we can take”.

©purepeople President Joe Biden speaks on the occasion of the White House bank holidays in Washington, Sunday 4 July 2021

The United States is celebrating its first bank holidays without restrictions since the Covid-19 pandemic began. On this occasion, the American President, Joe Biden, hailed on Sunday 4 July, an America that has “taken the upper hand” on Covid-19, while calling on his compatriots to be vaccinated against a virus that has not yet been “defeated”.

The 4th of July, which commemorates the Declaration of Independence in 1776, “is a special celebration this year, because we are coming out of a dark year,” he said, in front of a thousand guests at the White House. In a short and combative address, the president assured: “We have never been so close to declaring our independence from the virus.”

Covid-19 has not yet been defeated,” Biden warned, as the rapid circulation of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates in some areas worry experts. Getting vaccinated is “the most patriotic thing we can do,” he said in a speech that also celebrated the thunderous US economic recovery. “We are the United States of America. And there is nothing we cannot do, if we do it together.”

Return of the celebrations

On the Fourth of July, the Democratic president invited about 1,000 people, including caregivers, soldiers and other so-called “essential” workers to Washington for a barbecue and to watch the traditional fireworks.

As the president spoke, many people were already lining the Mall in downtown Washington to get a front row seat for the fireworks.

©purepeople The US Air Force demonstrated in Kansas City on Sunday, July 4, 2021

To catch up with loved ones or get some fresh air, nearly 50 million Americans escaped for the long weekend, only slightly less than in 2019, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

It’s a classic celebration, but one that would be unimaginable in the summer of 2020. A year ago, due to the pandemic, Joe Biden was campaigning for the presidency by video from his basement. Throughout the United States, parades and bands had been reduced to a minimum.

The country was also riven by giant anti-racism protests sparked by the death of African-American George Floyd on 25 May 2020.

Failure to reach 70% of the population vaccinated

With more than 33 million cases and 600,000 deaths, the US has paid the highest price, but the vaccination campaign has effectively reduced the number of hospitalizations and deaths in recent months.

©purepeople

However, the reluctance of younger people, conservatives and part of the black minority to take up vaccines is preventing a definitive turnaround. Symbolically, they have frustrated Joe Biden’s Fourth of July goal of a first dose for 70% of the adult population.

More seriously, the number of new Covid-19 cases has not decreased since mid-June, when the highly contagious Delta variant accounted for 35% of cases.

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