It isn’t always the case that the US tops charts in ways it probably would have wished it didn’t. Just by raw numbers alone, it ranks highest not only in the number of COVID-19 cases but also in the number of deaths it caused. Under the new Biden government, the country has been scrambling to put a stop to the spread of the virus, especially through vaccinations. Now US President Joe Biden is setting a bold and ambitious goal of making every adult in the US eligible for the vaccine by May 1 so that the country could be closer to normal by July 4.
Biden made science-guided strategies his top priority in fighting COVID-19 in the country and that started with the rollout of vaccines en masse to citizens. He set a goal of 100 million vaccinations within his first 100 days as president but is already nearing that milestone within his second month in office. Now he’s preparing for a bigger goal that, if successful, could open up the country sooner than he had expected earlier.
In his first primetime television address since his inauguration, US President Biden announced that he is directing states, Tribes, and territories to make all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccines no later than May 1. The idea is that, thanks to accelerated efforts, priority vaccinations will be far enough along by the end of next month that it will be possible to lift restrictions for vaccine eligibility by May. To help expedite the process, the government is increasing the number of active troops involved in efforts to a total of 6,000 and tapping other medical professionals, including dentists and midwives, in administering shots.
Of course, the actual administration of shots won’t be as quick but it seems that the government is confident it will meet its targets quickly. In fact, Biden envisions that the country will be closer to getting back to normal by July 4, Independence Day, a more aggressive target than the conservative Christmas season that Biden would tell the public just a month ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has now reached its first year, has left more than half a million Americans dead. This has prompted the federal government to implement and advise stronger measures, like minimum health standards and social distancing, to slow down the death toll. That said, those measures, including vaccines and even face masks, still face vocal and sometimes violent opposition and criticism from a number of Americans across the country.