President BidenJoe BidenSinema Fundraising in Europe as Reconciliation Talks ‘Ongoing’: Mexico Report Urges More US Investment in Central America to Stop Migration Flows Trump Calls for Take Back Virginia Rally to Exalt Youngkin MORE He touted America’s progress on the pandemic in a speech Thursday, but warned that the country is in a “critical period” as millions of Americans remain unvaccinated.
In his speech, Biden expressed optimism about the momentum the United States has made against COVID-19, citing nationwide drops in cases and hospitalizations, but called on companies to “step up” and support its vaccine requirements.
“My team and I are doing everything we can,” he said. “I am calling on more companies to step up. I am calling on more parents to vaccinate their children, when they are eligible.” And I ask everyone, everyone who has not been vaccinated, to get vaccinated. This is how we leave this pandemic behind. “
Biden specifically cited the 47 percent decline in daily cases and the 38 percent drop in hospitalizations in the past six weeks after the highly communicable delta variant caused surges across the country.
The number of unvaccinated people also fell from nearly 100 million in July to around 66 million, he said, although he noted that “it remains unacceptably high.”
“That is important progress, but … now is not the time to give in,” he said. “We have much more to do. We are in a very critical period as we work to turn the corner on COVID-19. “
Biden called dosing the unvaccinated “essential” and praised the vaccine requirements, saying they are “working” and “shouldn’t be another problem that divides us.”
Biden did not answer questions after his nearly six-minute speech.
The president’s comments come after the governor of Texas. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order this week prohibiting all COVID-19 vaccine requirements in his state, in direct conflict with upcoming federal regulations.
Fellow Republican Governor. Ron DeSantis of Florida raised the idea of a similar measure against the mandates, and state agencies have fined localities that require vaccinations for government employees.
The Biden administration previously announced plans to require employers with at least 100 employees to require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly tests for the virus.
The White House responded to the moves in Texas and Florida earlier this week, with the White House press secretary. Jen psakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care – Presented by the National Council on Mental Wellbeing – NIH Study Finds Mix-and-Match Drivers Effective White House Formally Rejects Trump’s Claim of Executive Privilege on Jan.6 Overnight Papers Energy & Environment – Presented by ExxonMobil – Oil Executives Expected to Answer MORE Oversight Questions accusing governors of “putting politics before public health.”
Biden also acknowledged in his speech that the administration intends to continue to “protect the vaccinated” through booster injections while awaiting a decision from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on additional doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. .
Federal agencies will also review Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine data for children ages 5 to 11 in the coming weeks.