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Home » Remarks by President Biden on Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic

Remarks by President Biden on Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic


5:02 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good night, my fellow People.  I wish to speak to you about the place we’re within the battle towards COVID-19, the progress we’ve made, and the work we have now left to do.

And it begins with understanding this: Even because the Delta variant 19 [sic] has — COVID-19 — has been hitting this nation onerous, we have now the instruments to fight the virus, if we will come collectively as a rustic and use these instruments.

If we increase our vaccination fee, defend ourselves and others with masking and expanded testing, and determine people who find themselves contaminated, we will and we are going to flip the tide on COVID-19.

It should take loads of onerous work, and it’s going to take a while.  Many people are pissed off with the practically 80 million People who’re nonetheless not vaccinated, although the vaccine is secure, efficient, and free.

You is perhaps confused about what’s true and what’s false about COVID-19.  So earlier than I define the brand new steps to struggle COVID-19 that I’m going to be asserting tonight, let me provide you with some clear details about the place we stand.

First, we have now cons- — we have now made appreciable progress
in battling COVID-19.  After I grew to become President, about 2 million People had been absolutely vaccinated.  As we speak, over 175 million People have that safety. 

Earlier than I took workplace, we hadn’t ordered sufficient vaccine for each American.  Simply weeks in workplace, we did.  The week earlier than I took workplace, on January twentieth of this 12 months, over 25,000 People died that week from COVID-19.  Final week, that grim weekly toll was down 70 %.

And within the three months earlier than I took workplace, our financial system was faltering, creating simply 50,000 jobs a month.  We’re now averaging 700,000 new jobs a month previously three months.

This progress is actual.  However whereas America is in a lot better form than it was seven months in the past after I took workplace, I have to inform you a second truth.

We’re in a troublesome stretch, and it may final for some time.  The extremely contagious Delta variant that I started to warn America about again in July unfold in late summer time prefer it did in different nations earlier than us.

Whereas the vaccines present robust protections for the vaccinated, we examine, we hear about, and we see the tales of hospitalized individuals, individuals on their loss of life beds, among the many unvaccinated over these previous few weeks. 

It is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.  And it’s brought on by the truth that regardless of America having an unprecedented and profitable vaccination program, although for nearly 5 months free vaccines have been accessible in 80,000 completely different areas, we nonetheless have practically 80 million People
who’ve did not get the shot. 

And to make issues worse, there are elected officers actively working to undermine the struggle towards COVID-19.  As a substitute of encouraging individuals to get vaccinated and masks up, they’re ordering cellular morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID of their communities.  That is completely unacceptable.

Third, in case you marvel how all this provides up, right here’s the maths:  The overwhelming majority of People are doing the fitting factor.  Almost three quarters of the eligible have gotten not less than one shot, however one quarter has not gotten any.  That’s practically 80 million People not vaccinated.  And in a rustic as massive as ours, that’s 25 % minority.  That 25 % could cause loads of injury — and they’re.

The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, are overrunning the emergency rooms and intensive care items, leaving no room for somebody with a coronary heart assault, or pancreitis [pancreatitis], or most cancers.

And fourth, I wish to emphasize that the vaccines present very robust safety from extreme sickness from COVID-19.  I do know there’s loads of confusion and misinformation.  However the world’s main scientists verify that if you’re absolutely vaccinated, your threat of extreme sickness from COVID-19 may be very low. 

Actually, based mostly on accessible information from the summer time, solely one among out of each 160,000 absolutely vaccinated People was hospitalized for COVID per day.

These are the information. 

So right here’s the place we stand: The trail forward, even with the Delta variant, isn’t practically as dangerous as final winter.  However what makes it extremely extra irritating is that we have now the instruments to fight COVID-19, and a definite minority of People –supported by a definite minority of elected officers — are maintaining us from turning the nook.  These pandemic politics, as I seek advice from, are making individuals sick, inflicting unvaccinated individuals to die. 

We can’t enable these actions to face in the best way of defending the massive majority of People who’ve finished their half and wish to get again to life as regular. 

As your President, I’m asserting tonight a brand new plan to require extra People to be vaccinated, to fight these blocking public well being. 

My plan additionally will increase testing, protects our financial system, and can make our children safer in colleges.  It consists of six broad areas of motion and lots of particular measures in every that — and every of these actions which you could learn extra about at

The measures — these are going to take time to have full impression.  But when we implement them, I consider and the scientists point out, that within the months forward we will cut back the variety of unvaccinated People, lower hospitalizations and deaths, and permit our kids to go to high school safely and hold our financial system robust by maintaining companies open.

First, we should enhance vaccinations among the many unvaccinated with new vaccination necessities.  Of the practically 80 million eligible People who haven’t gotten vaccinated, many mentioned they had been ready for approval from the Meals and Drug Administration — the FDA.  Properly, final month, the FDA granted that approval.

So, the time for ready is over.  This summer time, we made progress via the mix of vaccine necessities and incentives, in addition to the FDA approval.  4 million extra individuals acquired their first shot in August than they did in July. 

However we have to do extra.  This isn’t about freedom or private alternative.  It’s about defending your self and people round you — the individuals you’re employed with, the individuals you care about, the individuals you like.

My job as President is to guard all People. 

So, tonight, I’m asserting that the Division of Labor is growing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or extra workers, that collectively make use of over 80 million employees, to make sure their workforces are absolutely vaccinated or present a unfavourable check not less than as soon as every week.

Among the largest corporations are already requiring this: United Airways, Disney, Tysons Meals, and even Fox Information.

The underside line: We’re going to guard vaccinated employees from unvaccinated co-workers.  We’re going to cut back the unfold of COVID-19 by rising the share of the workforce that’s vaccinated in companies all throughout America.

My plan will prolong the vaccination necessities that I beforehand issued within the healthcare discipline.  Already, I’ve introduced, we’ll be requiring vaccinations that each one nursing dwelling employees who deal with sufferers on Medicare and Medicaid, as a result of I’ve that federal authority.

Tonight, I’m utilizing that very same authority to increase that to cowl those that work in hospitals, dwelling healthcare amenities, or different medical amenities –- a complete of 17 million healthcare employees.

< p>Should you’re searching for care at a well being facility, it’s best to have the ability to know that the individuals treating you’re vaccinated.  Easy.  Easy.  Interval.

Subsequent, I’ll signal an govt order that can now require all govt department federal workers to be vaccinated — all.  And I’ve signed one other govt order that can require federal contractors to do the identical.

If you wish to work with the federal authorities and do enterprise with us, get vaccinated.  If you wish to do enterprise with the federal authorities, vaccinate your workforce. 

And tonight, I’m eradicating one of many final remaining obstacles that make it tough so that you can get vaccinated.

The Division of Labor would require employers with 100 or extra employees to provide these employees paid break day to get vaccinated.  Nobody ought to lose pay so as to get vaccinated or take a liked one to get vaccinated.

As we speak, in complete, the vaccine necessities in my plan will have an effect on about 100 million People –- two thirds of all employees. 

And for different sectors, I concern this enchantment: To these of you working massive leisure venues — from sports activities arenas to live performance venues to film theaters — please require people to get vaccinated or present a unfavourable check as a situation of entry.

And to the nation’s household physicians, pediatricians, GPs — normal practitioners –- you’re probably the most trusted medical voice to your sufferers.  You might be the one one that can get somebody to alter their thoughts about being vaccinated. 

Tonight, I’m asking every of you to achieve out to your unvaccinated sufferers over the subsequent two weeks and make a private enchantment to them to get the shot.  America wants your private involvement on this essential effort.

And my message to unvaccinated People is that this: What extra is there to attend for?  What extra do you could see?  We’ve made vaccinations free, secure, and handy.

The vaccine has FDA approval.  Over 200 million People have gotten not less than one shot. 

We’ve been affected person, however our persistence is carrying skinny.  And your refusal has price all of us.  So, please, do the fitting factor.  However simply don’t take it from me; take heed to the voices of unvaccinated People who’re mendacity in hospital beds, taking their remaining breaths, saying, “If solely I had gotten vaccinated.”  “If solely.”

It’s a tragedy.  Please don’t let it turn out to be yours.

The second piece of my plan is constant to guard the vaccinated.

For the overwhelming majority of you who’ve gotten vaccinated, I perceive your anger at those that haven’t gotten vaccinated.  I perceive the anxiousness about getting a “breakthrough” case.

However because the science makes clear, in case you’re absolutely vaccinated, you’re extremely protected against extreme sickness, even in case you get COVID-19.  

Actually, current information signifies there is just one confirmed optimistic case per 5,000 absolutely vaccinated People per day.

You’re as secure as potential, and we’re doing every little thing we will to maintain it that approach — hold it that approach, hold you secure.

That’s the place boosters are available — the photographs that provide you with much more safety than after your second shot.

Now, I do know there’s been some confusion about boosters.  So, let me be clear: Final month, our prime authorities docs introduced an preliminary plan for booster photographs for vaccinated People.  They consider {that a} booster is probably going to supply the best stage of safety but.

After all, the choice of which booster photographs to provide, when to begin them, and who will give them, shall be left utterly to the scientists on the FDA and the Facilities for Illness Management.

However whereas we wait, we’ve finished our half.  We’ve purchased sufficient boosters — sufficient booster photographs — and the distribution system is able to administer them.

As quickly as they’re approved, these eligible will have the ability to get a booster straight away in tens of 1000’s of website throughout the — websites throughout the nation for many People, at your close by drug retailer, and without cost. 

The third piece of my plan is maintaining — and perhaps an important — is maintaining our kids secure and our colleges open.  For any dad or mum, it doesn’t matter how low the danger of any sickness or accident is in relation to your little one or grandchild.  Belief me, I do know. 

So, let me communicate to you instantly.  Let me communicate to you instantly to assist ease a few of your worries.

It comes down to 2 separate classes: kids ages 12 and older who’re eligible for a vaccine now, and kids ages 11 and below who aren’t are but eligible.

The most secure factor in your little one 12 and older is to get them vaccinated.  They get vaccinated for lots of issues.  That’s it.  Get them vaccinated.

As with adults, virtually all the intense COVID-19 circumstances we’re seeing amongst adolescents are in unvaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds — an age group that lags behind in vaccination charges.

So, dad and mom, please get your teenager vaccinated.

What about kids below the age of 12 who can’t get vaccinated but?  Properly, one of the simplest ways for a dad or mum to guard their little one below the age of 12 begins at dwelling.  Each dad or mum, each teen sibling, each caregiver round them must be vaccinated.  

Youngsters have 4 instances greater probability of getting hospitalized in the event that they dwell in a state with low vaccination charges slightly than the states with excessive vaccination charges. 

Now, in case you’re a dad or mum of a younger little one, you’re questioning when will it’s — when will it’s — the vaccine accessible for them.  I strongly assist an unbiased scientific evaluate for vaccine makes use of for youngsters below 12.  We will’t take shortcuts with that scientific work. 

However I’ve made it clear I’ll do every little thing inside my energy to assist the FDA with any useful resource it must proceed to do that as safely and as rapidly as potential, and our nation’s prime docs are dedicated to maintaining the general public at massive up to date on the method so dad and mom can plan.

Now to the colleges.  We all know that if colleges comply with the science and implement the protection measures — like testing, masking, ample air flow techniques that we offered the cash for, social distancing, and vaccinations — then kids may be secure from COVID-19 in colleges.

As we speak, about 90 % of faculty employees and lecturers are vaccinated.  We should always get that to one hundred pc.  My administration has already acquired lecturers on the colleges run by the Protection Division — as a result of I’ve the authority as President within the federal system — the Protection Division and the Inside Division — to get vaccinated.  That’s authority I possess. 

Tonight, I’m asserting that we’ll require all of practically 300,000 educators within the federal paid program, Head Begin program, should be vaccinated as nicely to guard your youngest — our youngest — most valuable People and provides dad and mom the consolation.

And tonight, I’m calling on all governors to require vaccination for all lecturers and employees.  Some have already got finished so, however we want extra to step up. 

Vaccination necessities in colleges are nothing new.  They work.  They’re overwhelmingly supported by educators and their unions.  And to all college officers attempting to do the fitting factor by our kids: I’ll all the time be in your facet. 

Let me be blunt.  My plan additionally takes on elected officers and states which are undermining you and these lifesaving actions.  Proper now, native col
lege officers try to maintain kids secure in a pandemic whereas their governor picks a struggle with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs.  Speak about bullying in colleges.  In the event that they’ll not assist — if these governors gained’t assist us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my energy as President to get them out of the best way. 

The Division of Schooling has already begun to take authorized motion towards states undermining safety that native college officers have ordered.  Any trainer or college official whose pay is withheld for doing the fitting factor, we could have that pay restored by the federal authorities one hundred pc.  I promise you I’ll have your again. 

The fourth piece of my plan is rising testing and masking.  From the beginning, America has did not do sufficient COVID-19 testing.  With a view to higher detect and management the Delta variant, I’m taking steps tonight to make testing extra accessible, extra reasonably priced, and extra handy.  I’ll use the Protection Manufacturing Act to extend manufacturing of fast assessments, together with people who you need to use at dwelling. 

Whereas that manufacturing is ramping up, my administration has labored with prime retailers, like Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger’s, and tonight we’re asserting that, no later than subsequent week, every of those retailers will begin to promote at-home fast check kits at price for the subsequent three months.  That is an instantaneous value discount for at-home check kits for as much as 35 % discount.

We’ll additionally increase — increase free testing at 10,000 pharmacies across the nation.  And we’ll commit — we’re committing $2 billion to buy practically 300 million fast assessments for distribution to neighborhood well being facilities, meals banks, colleges, so that each American, irrespective of their revenue, can entry free and handy assessments.  That is vital to everybody, significantly for a dad or mum or a baby — with a baby not sufficiently old to be vaccinated.  You’ll have the ability to check them at dwelling and check these round them.

Along with testing, we all know masking helps cease the unfold of COVID-19.  That’s why after I got here into workplace, I required masks for all federal buildings and on federal lands, on airways, and different modes of transportation.  

As we speak — tonight, I’m asserting that the Transportation Security Administration — the TSA — will double the fines on vacationers that refuse to masks.  Should you break the foundations, be ready to pay. 

And, by the best way, present some respect.  The anger you see on tv towards flight attendants and others doing their job is unsuitable; it’s ugly. 

The fifth piece of my plan is defending our financial restoration.  Due to our vaccination program and the American Rescue Plan, which we handed early in my administration, we’ve had file job creation for a brand new administration, financial development unmatched in 40 years.  We can’t let unvaccinated do that progress — undo it, flip it again. 

So tonight, I’m asserting extra steps to strengthen our financial restoration.  We’ll be increasing COVID-19 Financial Harm Catastrophe Mortgage packages.  That’s a program that’s going to permit small companies to borrow as much as $2 million from the present $500,000 to maintain going if COVID-19 impacts on their gross sales. 

These low-interest, long-term loans require no reimbursement for 2 years and be can used to rent and retain employees, buy stock, and even pay down greater price debt racked up for the reason that pandemic started.  I’ll even be taking extra steps to assist small companies keep afloat in the course of the pandemic. 

Sixth, we’re going to proceed to enhance the care of those that do get COVID-19.  In early July, I introduced the deployment of surge response groups.  These are groups comprised of specialists from the Division of Well being and Human Companies, the CDC, the Protection Division, and the Federal Emergency Administration Company — FEMA — to areas within the nation that need assistance to stem the unfold of COVID-19. 

Since then, the federal authorities has deployed practically 1,000 employees, together with docs, nurses, paramedics, into 18 states.  As we speak, I’m asserting that the Protection Division will double the variety of navy well being groups that they’ll deploy to assist their fellow People in hospitals across the nation. 

Moreover, we’re rising the provision of recent medicines really useful by actual docs, not conspir- — conspiracy theorists.  The monoclonal antibody therapies have been proven to cut back the danger of hospitalization by as much as 70 % for unvaccinated individuals vulnerable to growing sefe- — extreme illness. 

We’ve already distributed 1.4 million programs of those therapies to save lots of lives and cut back the pressure on hospitals.  Tonight, I’m asserting we are going to enhance the common tempo of cargo throughout the nation of free monoclonal antibody therapies by one other 50 %.

Earlier than I shut, let me say this: Communities of coloration are disproportionately impacted by this virus.  And as we proceed to battle COVID-19, we are going to be sure that fairness continues to be on the heart of our response.  We’ll be sure that everyone seems to be reached.  My first accountability as President is to guard the American individuals and ensure we have now sufficient vaccine for each American, together with sufficient boosters for each American who’s permitted to get one. 

We additionally know this virus transcends borders.  That’s why, at the same time as we execute this plan at dwelling, we have to proceed preventing the virus abroad, proceed to be the arsenal of vaccines. 

We’re proud to have donated practically 140 million vaccines over 90 nations, greater than all different nations mixed, together with Europe, China, and Russia mixed.  That’s American management on a world stage, and that’s only the start.

We’ve additionally now began to ship one other 500 million COVID vaccines — Pfizer vaccines — bought to donate to 100 lower-income nations in want of vaccines.  And I’ll be asserting extra steps to assist the remainder of the world later this month.

As I just lately launched the important thing components of my pandemic preparedness plan in order that America isn’t caught flat-footed when a brand new pandemic comes once more — as it should — subsequent month, I’m additionally going to launch the plan in better element.

So let me shut with this: We’ve so- — we’ve made a lot progress in the course of the previous seven months of this pandemic.  The current will increase in vaccinations in August already are having an impression in some states the place case counts are dropping in current days.  Even so, we stay at a essential second, a essential time.  We’ve the instruments.  Now we simply have to complete the job with fact, with science, with confidence, and collectively as one nation.

Look, we’re america of America.  There’s nothing — not a single factor — we’re unable to do if we do it collectively.  So let’s keep collectively.

God bless you all and all those that proceed to serve on the frontlines of this pandemic.  And will God defend our troops.

Get vaccinated.

5:28 P.M. EDT


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