President Biden on Monday issued a threatening warning to Americans who refused to get vaccinated, saying they will ultimately “end up paying the price” despite the fact the significant progress in the number of coronavirus cases is down for the first time since the pandemic began last year.
In remarks from the East Room of the White House, Biden touted that coronavirus deaths were down 81 percent to the “lowest level since April of 2020” before putting the blame on those who are unvaccinated in cautioning that the progress could be “reversed.”
“Today, for the first time since the pandemic began, cases are down in all 50 states. First time. That’s right: Thanks a lot to the hard work of so many people, COVID cases are down in all 50 states. Now, I can’t promise that will continue this way. We know there will be advances and setbacks, and we know that there are many flare-ups that could occur,” Biden warned.
“But if the unvaccinated get vaccinated, they will protect themselves and other unvaccinated people around them. If they do not, states with low vaccination rates may see those rates go up — may see this progress reversed. Ultimately, those who are not vaccinated will pay — end up paying the price. The vaccinated will continue to be protected against severe illnesses, but others may not be if you’re not vaccinated,” Biden added.
The president also called on Americans to respect those who wish to continue to wear a face mask despite being vaccinated, but never issued the same warning to respect those who opt not to wear a face mask all the time when outside and alone.
“As I said last week, some people may want to continue to wear a mask even if they are fully vaccinated. That’s a decision they can make. Some businesses may want to continue to require wearing masks,” Biden said. “Let’s all be kind and respectful to one another as we come out of this pandemic and respect those who want to continue to wear a mask even if they’ve been vaccinated.”
Biden also reiterated his target goal of having 70 percent of Americans receiving at least one COVID vaccine shot by July 4, noting that the updated vaccination numbers that will be released Tuesday will show that “60 percent of Americans have received at least one shot.”
“We need to help fight the disease around the world to keep us safe here at home and to do the right thing and help the other people,” Biden said. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. It’s the strong thing to do.”
During his remarks, Biden announced that the U.S. will donate 20 million COVID vaccine doses overseas, stressing that they are “extra supply” as, by the end of June, the nation will have “enough of such vaccines to protect everyone.”
“I’m announcing that we’ll also share U.S.-authorized vaccine doses of Pfizer and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, as they become available, with the rest of the world as well. These are vaccinations and vaccines that are authorized to be put in arms of Americans,” Biden said. “And by the end of June, when we’ll have taken delivery of enough of such vaccines to protect everyone in the United States, the United States will share at least 20 million doses of those doses — that extra supply with other countries.”
“This means, over the next six weeks, the United States of America will send 80 million doses overseas. That represents 13 percent of the vaccines produced by the United States by the end of June. This will be more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date — five times more than any other country — more than Russia and China, which have donated 15 million doses,” he added.
The latest donation of 20 million vaccines will consist of all three U.S. authorized for emergency use — Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson. Last month, Biden shared 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine overseas, citing this specific brand of the vaccine was “not authorized for use in the United States.”
In Florida, according to state data, 45 percent of Floridians have received at least one dose of the vaccine.