President Joe Biden marked the grim milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in America in an address to the nation. The president said that he always carries a card detailing the tally of people who have died from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
He asked people not to allow the pandemic to be a story of how far America fell, but a story of how far the country climbed back up. In a statement, Biden compared grief created by the pandemic with how he felt following his first wife and two children’s deaths.
“I know what it’s like to not be there when it happens… I know what it’s like when you are there, holding your hands, looking in their eyes as they slip away… That’s how you heal; you have to remember. The day will come when the memory of the loved one you lost will bring a smile to your lips before a tear to your eye… For me, the way through sorrow and grief is to find purpose… We must end the politics and misinformation that’s divided families, communities in this country,” Biden said in the speech. The president reminded people that the coronavirus does not target Republicans or Democrats but everyone in America.
Biden’s speech comes after he was criticized for a false claim regarding vaccine distribution. While speaking at Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Michigan, he accused former President Donald Trump of not leaving a plan for distributing the vaccine.
In an interview with Breitbart, John Wagner, the former Senior Advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services, said that Trump had laid out a clear distribution plan last September, long before Biden took office.
Vaccination attempts in the U.S. have been negatively affected by the winter weather. In an interview with MSNBC, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the country would have to work quickly to make up for the winter delays.
“It’s been slowed down in some places going to a grinding halt… We’re just going to have to make up for it as soon as the weather lifts a bit, the ice melts, and we can get the trucks out and the people out, and getting the vaccine into people’s arms… We’re going to just have to make up for it, namely do double time when this thing clears up,” he said in the interview.
Several states have been forced to cancel vaccinations due to the delay in receiving the vaccines. Fortunately, the second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines can be taken up to six weeks after the first dosage.
The second dose must be administered after 21 to 28 days. Those who already received the first dose could still get the second shot, and a delay of a few days would not be a big problem.
Around 64.2 million Americans have been administered at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The country’s current vaccination rate is around 1.36 million doses per day. At this rate, 10 months will be needed to get at least 75 percent of Americans inoculated with two doses of the vaccine.