Speaking from the White House, President Joe Biden pushed hard on getting more people vaccinated against COVID-19, setting a new goal to have 70 percent of the U.S. adult population with at least one shot and 160 million fully vaccinated by July 4.
“That means giving close to 100 million shots — some first shots, others second shots — over the next 60 days,” Biden said Tuesday.
It appears that the country is reaching the point where most who want to be vaccinated have done so. Now, if only the president can get those “lazy” Americans who have not been stuck yet to get off the couch.
As of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 105 million Americans fully vaccinated, while 147 million have had at least one dose — which would suggest that a goal of 100 million shots in the next 100 days is a gimme, given that 147 million second shots are imminent.
Which is not to say that the administration is above presidential-level fearmongering to motivate people to get vaccinated.
ABC News White House Correspondent Karen Travers asked Biden about how hard the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be.
Asked by @karentravers about the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Pres. Biden says, “Most people will be convinced by the fact that their failure to get the vaccine may cause other people to get sick and maybe die.”https://t.co/65DAtdSQBT pic.twitter.com/AX7wHVJVyQ
— ABC News (@ABC) May 4, 2021
“Well, I think, in one sense, it’s easier in that it’s up to convincing the American people rather than guaranteeing them we’d have the supply for them,” he replied.
“But I think what’s going to happen — it’s my prayer — that more and more people who get vaccinated are going to be listening to people who they love and are around, and they’re going to say, ‘Why don’t you just go ahead and do it?'” Biden added. “And there’s some evidence — we still had a good dose of vaccine being administered the last two weeks, and it’s still moving.”
It was at this point that the president used the term “lazy,” all the while insisting he was not calling people lazy.
“But we know we’re going to get to a place where the doubters exist or the people who just are — I don’t want to say ‘lazy’ — just not sure how to get to where they want to go,” Biden said. “It’s going to be hard. So, we’re going to keep at it.”
Wrapping his remarks up with a bow, the president added, “I think, at the end of the day, most people will be convinced by the fact that their failure to get the vaccine may cause other people to get sick and maybe die.”
This being similar to some next level fearmongering from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday in regard to those who have not gotten vaccinated.
“My argument is, yeah, maybe you’ll be fine — and by the way, you don’t know that either. We’ve had a lot of young people who have died,” the embattled Democratic governor said. “Maybe you will get a long haul syndrome that we’re not really sure what it is yet, but a lingering consequence of COVID. Or maybe you go home and kiss your grandmother and wind up killing your grandmother. So, show some civic responsibility.”
In addition to focusing on those “less eager” to get vaccinated, Biden said children between the ages of 12 and 15 will be a priority.
“We’re also going to slip vaccines directly to pediatricians — ship them to pediatricians during the following weeks,” Biden said.
This coming after he acknowledged that these children are not yet eligible, saying the FDA is “currently reviewing the data to decide if and when to authorize that age range for vaccinations.”
At one point in Biden’s remarks, he badly flubbed the name of a government website set up to help facilitate the process of getting Americans vaccinated, struggling to read from the teleprompter.
“Visit Vaccine.gum — .gov. Vaccine.gum,” he said, seemingly repeating the flub after correcting himself. “Or text to — your zip… text your ZIP Code to: 438829.”
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