President Biden announced that 52% of American adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the U.S. is seeing daily case counts that average below 20% for the first time since March of 2020.
He picked Jan. 20, the day he became president, as a starting point to note the decline, but daily cases had peaked Jan. 8 and drastically fallen already by Inauguration Day.
“It’s clearer than ever the more people we get vaccinated, the more success we’re going to have in our fight against this virus,” Biden said in remarks on the pandemic. “Since Jan. 20 … the average daily cases are down from 184K to 19K. Below 20,000 for the first time since March of 2020. Average hospitalizations are down from 117,000 to 21,000. Death rates are down over 85%.”
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“This didn’t just happen by chance,” the president continued. “We got to this moment because we took aggressive action from day one with a whole-of-government response.”
In fact, coronavirus cases began declining after they hit a peak of 300,628 total and seven-day average of 259,604 on Jan. 8, according to data compiled from local health agencies by the New York Times. By Inauguration Day, new cases had declined to 185,508 and a seven-day average of over 195,000.
Still, Biden said that getting the vaccine is “not a partisan act,” and gave some credit to the Trump administration.
“The science was done under Democratic and Republican administrations. Matter of fact, the first vaccines were authorized under a Republican president and widely developed by a Democratic president – deployed by a Democratic president,” he said.
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The president also deemed June a “national month of action” to have 70% of adults inoculated with at least one round of the vaccine by July 4, the target date Biden has set for at least some semblance of normalcy. Nearly 63% of adults have at least one round of the shot. With vaccinations, Americans could enjoy “a summer of freedom,” the president promised.