During the Fourth of July celebrations, President Joe Biden said the US successfully achieved its vaccine goal. What he didn’t say is that as of Independence Day, the country only managed to vaccinate 67% of the population. This is a full 3% short of the targeted 70% needed for herd immunity.
States Vaccine Goal Rates Divided By Party Lines
Unfortunately for Biden, only 18 states plus the District of Columbia managed to hit the vaccine goal of 70% vaccination. Unsurprisingly, those 18 states voted for Biden during the presidential elections.
These are Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, California, Washington, New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, Virginia, Delaware, and Minnesota. Of the 18, only Vermont, Hawaii, and Massachusetts registered vaccination rates of over 80%.
In contrast, many states in the South, Midwest, and East fell behind in reaching their individual vaccine goals. Of the 32 who didn’t make it, three states, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Wyoming have yet to hit the 50% vaccine goal.
Mississippi, the poorest state in the nation, lags far behind at 46.3%. Meanwhile, about 33% of the total US states have yet to hit the 60% barrier. Seven of those states barely made it over 50%.
Biden Declared An End To Pandemic, Then Warned Against The Delta Variant
Despite the numbers, Biden found it enough to declare his 70% vaccine goal campaign a resounding success. Speaking at a White House South Lawn Independence Day party, he all but declared an end to the pandemic.
In particular, he praised what he called a “heroic” vaccination campaign that gave the US its independence from the virus. Today, all across this nation, we can say with confidence: America is coming back together. Today, while the virus hasn’t been vanquished, we know this: It no longer controls our lives, it no longer paralyzes our nation and it’s within our power to make sure it never does so again.”
At the same time, Biden cautioned against lowering your guard against the new COVID-19 variants. He then appealed to Americans who have yet to get vaccine shots to do so.
Noting that more than 603,000 Americans already died from the virus, he said that getting a vaccine is “the most patriotic thing you can do.”
Vaccine Goal Missed But the US Surges Ahead
Even as Biden missed his vaccine goal target by 3%, the US remains ahead of countries that already reopened their economies. According to the Bloomberg COVID Resilience Ranking, the US remains the best in the world to be right now.
Bloomberg credits the vaccine rollout featuring the mRNA shots for turning the country around. A year ago, the US was among the worst-hit countries. Now, its economy is humming along, with jobs outnumbering workers.
However, the challenge remains to overcome the new mutant strains of the coronavirus. The delta variant is spreading faster than earlier strains. There’s no telling what can happen when the Delta breaks out in areas that remain less vaccinated.
Experts say the Delta variant spreads faster by 40-60% compared to the dominant Alpha strain. At the moment, states from New York to California reported yet another increase in positive test rates. In fact, Delta’s infection rate is doubling every two weeks.
Rapid Response Teams
Earlier, the Biden administration announced that they will deploy rapid response teams across the country to delta hot spots. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said around 1,000 counties, mostly based in the South, East, and Midwest, might get into problems given that their vaccination rates are at 30% or less.
“When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among under-vaccinated regions—be they states, cities or counties—you’re going to see these individual types of blips,” Fauci told CNN this week. “It’s almost like it’s going to be two Americas,” he added.
Watch the CityNews video reporting that President Joe Biden misses July 4 vaccination goal:
What do you think of Biden’s announcement that the US hit its goal? Did you do your part in getting to 70%? In addition, are you especially concerned with the Delta strain of COVID?
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