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Biden plans to celebrate US ‘independence’ from COVID-19

U.S. President Joe Biden points to staff members from the South Lawn as he departs the White House on June 25, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS)

President Joe Biden and his White House are planning a slate of travel and events this weekend to celebrate his administration’s progress combating the pandemic, though the country fell short of his July 4 vaccination goal.

Biden will visit Traverse City, Michigan, on Saturday as part of what the White House calls the “America’s Back Together” celebration. The next day, the U.S. Independence Day holiday, the president will host more than a thousand essential workers and military families for a barbecue on the South Lawn of the White House.

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Nevada on Saturday, while first lady Jill Biden will be in Maine and New Hampshire. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will visit Utah on Friday. Cabinet members will fan out to more than a dozen states to attend roundtables and baseball games, and visit fire stations, festivals, parades and cookouts.

“America’s back together thanks to the Biden administration’s whole-of-government pandemic response, the countless essential workers and first responders, and the resiliency of the American people,” the White House said in a statement.

The statement added that administration officials “will be blanketing the country to celebrate Independence Day and our independence from this virus.”

While coronavirus infections and deaths have fallen dramatically since Biden took office thanks to an expansive vaccination campaign, the White House will fall short of its goal of 70% of U.S. adults receiving at least one shot by July 4. As of Monday, 66.1% of adults had gotten at least one shot.

The country is still recording more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 per day, on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that’s a better than 95% reduction since U.S. cases peaked on Jan. 10. There have been 287 deaths per day from the disease, on average, for the last seven days.


© 2021 Bloomberg L.P

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