Noting COVID ‘down in all 50 states,’ Biden warns unvaccinated folks will ‘end up paying the price’

President Joe Biden said Monday that for the first time since the pandemic broke out last year, coronavirus cases “are down in all 50 states,” but warned/threatened those who have not gotten vaccinated that they “will end up paying the price” for their inaction.

Speaking from the White House, the president was making a poorly thought out attempt to encourage Americans to get vaccinated, and he would later note that 60% of the country has received at least one shot — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced Monday that 47% have been fully vaccinated.

“Thanks a lot to the hard work of so many people, COVID cases are down in all 50 states,” Biden said. “Now, I can’t promise that will continue this way. We know there will be advances and setbacks, and we know that there are many flare-ups that could occur. But if the unvaccinated get vaccinated, they will protect themselves and other unvaccinated people around them. If they do not, states with low vaccination rates may see those rates go up — may see this progress reversed.”

“Ultimately, those who are not vaccinated will end up paying the price,” he continued. “The vaccinated will continue to be protected against severe illness, but others may not be if you’re not vaccinated.”

Biden said “we still have too many unvaccinated people in America,” and repeated his goal of having 70% of Americans receiving at least one COVID vaccine shot by July 4.

In noting the CDC announced that those who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear a mask, the president stressed that those who haven’t still need to wear one. In the process, he confusingly suggested that wearing a mask is as effective as getting vaccinated.

“The science now shows that your vaccination protects you as well as being masked or better than being masked,” Biden claimed. “So you can protect yourself from serious illness from COVID by getting vaccinated or wearing a mask until you’re fully vaccinated. Either way, you’re protected.”

In a sign of the times, Biden said some people may want to keep wearing a mask even if they are fully vaccinated and that some businesses may still require masks, before adding, “Let’s all be kind and respectful to one another as we come out of this pandemic, respect those who want to continue to wear a mask even if they’ve been vaccinated.”

He also said the U.S. will send an additional 20 million doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines to other countries.

Biden touted “our prompt vaccine rollout” to roll out the vaccine, along with a boost of the economy, to say “we’ve gone from stagnation to an economy that’s growing faster than it has in nearly 40 years.”

While “stagnation” may be a stretch, he went on to claim no new administration “has ever created this many jobs in this time frame.”

The president opened the briefing by announcing more free money for people, as part of the COVID-19 Stimulus Package passed in March.

Millions of families across the country will see monthly payments beginning in mid-July as part of the new, fully refundable child tax credit. Currently a one-year tax cut, it amounts to $3,000 a year for each child under the age of 18, and $3,600 if the child is under the age of six, according to Biden.

“But here’s the great news: You won’t have to wait until your next year’s tax return to get that break,” Biden added. “I’m announcing today that on July 15th and the 15th of every month thereafter throughout the year, you will get, deposited into your bank account, half of your tax cut — at least $250 per child each month — a direct deposit into your account.”

And Democrats hope to make it a long-term thing.

“With today’s announcement, about 90% of families with children will get this new tax relief automatically, starting in July,” he said. “While the American Rescue Plan provides for this vital tax relief to hard-working families for this year, Congress must pass the American Families Plan to ensure that working families will be able to count on this relief for years to come.”

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Tom Tillison

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