On the July 4th social gathering, Biden will have a good time and pay tribute to COVID progress

WASHINGTON – As Americans gather to celebrate Independence Day across the country, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted their own party on the South Lawn of the White House.

“Today we’re celebrating America. Our freedom, our freedom, our independence. July 4th is a holy day in our country. A day of history, hope, remembrance and determination, promises and opportunities, ”Biden said before fireworks.

The president adopted an optimistic tone, promising that the US is “closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus” while warning that “COVID-19 has not been defeated”.

He also highlighted several signs of a return to normal, including the reopening of schools, a faster-than-expected economic recovery, and the resumption of many personal activities.

Biden said he had a note on himself with the exact number of Americans who have died from COVID-19.

“As of tonight, there are 603,018 people who have lost their lives,” he said, emphasizing that every person lost was a member of a family and a community.

“We also remember all those who… lost families to other causes of death and cruel blows of fate. They too have left loved ones behind, unable to breathe and grieved for loved ones, ”he continued.

Tribute to the military, first responders

The celebration included a barbecue for military families and key workers whom Biden thanked for their continued service to the country during the pandemic.

“It is the greatest honor to serve as your Commander-in-Chief,” said the President to the assembled soldiers. “Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.”

President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during the Independence Day celebrations on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on July 4, 2021.

Biden also praised Americans for their individual roles in fighting the coronavirus, which he described as “one of the most remarkable achievements in American history,” before calling on people to get vaccinated and view it as an act of patrioticism.

“The best defense against these variants is to get vaccinated. My fellow Americans, it’s the most patriotic thing you can do. So please, if you haven’t been vaccinated, do it now, fellowship, ”he urged.

President Joe Biden arrives to address the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC during the Independence Day celebrations on July 4, 2021.

Celebrate progress:Biden’s first major social event for the “Summer of Joy” as the pandemic risk persists in some places

In March, Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated to “make this Independence Day really special.” 70% of adults are vaccinated, a threshold that many health authorities believe is sufficient for herd immunity.

Since Biden’s announcement, the government has received a lightning strike in the media for vaccines and is working with states and communities to improve access and build public trust.

More:July 4th at the White House is an annual tradition. So it started.

The country lagged slightly behind Biden’s target, with 67% of adults getting at least one dose by the holiday. The vaccination rates weren’t even across the country; Twenty states and the District of Columbia outperformed Biden’s benchmark, while 30 states lagged.

Biden also addressed the importance of democracy, a common theme of his presidency. “Every day we are reminded that our democracy does not guarantee anything,” warned the president. Biden then warned that “the right to vote and have that vote count” is sacred, referring to the government’s efforts to strengthen voting rights across the country.

Follow Matthew Brown online at @mrbrownsir.

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