Vaccination Halts in US, but Deaths Fall 93%

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In his first address to the nation as president of the United States, in March, Joe Biden promised that the July 4 holiday would mark the country’s return to normality thanks to the covid-19 vaccination. The day arrived without the White House reaching the target of vaccinating 70% of adults. But the weekly average of daily deaths has dropped 93.6% since inauguration – from 3,366, they dropped to just 214.

With nearly 50% of the population fully immunized, Biden is today commemorating the pandemic’s retreat with celebrations across the country. Health officials keep warning messages and appeals to Americans to get vaccinated.

Last year, Independence Day parades were canceled to avoid crowding. Now events across the country featuring Biden and First Lady Jill and Vice President Kamala Harris send a message to the world that the US is ready for an unrestricted summer. Americans already walk around without masks, travel and attend big music festivals and crowded sports arenas.

“Deaths have dropped by more than 90 percent since January 20,” said White House pandemic-fighting coordinator Jeff Zients this week. “This weekend, millions of Americans will be able to celebrate together, not just with families and close friends at small backyard barbecues, but with their community for major festivals, parades and fireworks celebrating our country’s Independence Day and progress that we did together against the virus,” said Zients.

The US arrives on this holiday with 181.6 million people vaccinated, equivalent to two out of three adults. In global comparison, the country is among the few that vaccinated more than half of its residents. But the numbers frustrate US government officials, who have enough doses to vaccinate three times the total population and hoped to be closer to a safe level of mass immunization by now.