President Biden Has This One Message for All Americans
In an address to the nation on Thursday, President Biden announced several new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. He laid blame for the pandemic's protracted surge on one group, and he had one message for all Americans. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
"A Tough Stretch," But There Are Solutions
Biden said the pandemic was in a fundamentally better place since before he took office but acknowledged that "we're in a tough stretch, and it could last for a while. The highly contagious Delta variant that I began to warn America about back in July spread in late summer, like it did in other countries before us."
But, he noted, "We have the tools to combat the virus, if we can come together as a country and use those tools."
"Pandemic Politics Are Making People Sick"
Biden noted that COVID-19 "has been hitting the country hard," but there are crucial differences compared to the beginning of the pandemic, and he had harsh words for the vaccine hesitant. "Even with the Delta variant, it's not nearly as bad as last winter," he said. "What makes it incredibly more frustrating is we have the tools to combat COVID-19, and a distinct minority of Americans, supported by a distinct minority of elected officials, are keeping us from turning the corner.
"These pandemic politics are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die. We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who've done their part, wanting to get back to life as normal. As your president, I'm announcing tonight a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated, to combat those blocking public health."
The New Vaccination Mandates
"This is not about freedom or personal choice," said Biden. "It's about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love."
Saying "my job as president is to protect all Americans," Biden announced new vaccine mandates and initiatives:
- Companies with more than 100 employees will be required to ensure their employees are vaccinated or tested for COVID once a week
- All executive branch federal government employees must be vaccinated, with no option to be tested or opt out
- All 300,000 educators in federal Head Start programs must be fully vaccinated
- All 17 million healthcare workers at facilities receiving federal funds from Medicare or Medicaid must be fully vaccinated
The President's Message
"My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We've made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot.
"We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us. So please do the right thing. But just don't take it from me. Listen to the voices of unvaccinated Americans who are lying in hospital beds, taking their final breath, saying, 'If only I'd gotten vaccinated, if only.' It's a tragedy. Please don't let it become yours."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.