Despite saying earlier in March that Americans may be able to hold small gatherings on the 4th of July this year, President Joe Biden is now warning that those events may need to be canceled if the reluctance to get the vaccine continues, the Daily Wire reports.
In a speech marking the one year anniversary of pandemic related shutdowns earlier in March, Biden had assured Americans that they may be able to hold small gatherings "in your backyard or in your neighbourhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day," if case numbers had declined.
"If we do this together, by 4 July, there is a good chance you, your family, and friends can get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. After a long, hard year, that will make this Independence Day truly special – where we not only mark our independence as a nation but we begin to mark our independence from this virus." said Biden.
Biden then threatened on Tuesday that if the current rate of hesitancy to get the vaccine continues, that those events may need to be canceled, despite the fact that the CDC allows for small gatherings as long as they take the proper precautions.
The New York Post reported that "More than 51 percent of American adults have received at least one vaccine dose, according to CDC data, indicating that herd immunity and the pandemic’s end are near. But Biden said at the White House that he’s not yet comfortable saying people can hold small outdoor gatherings on Independence Day.”
"Back on March 11, I outlined a vision of what America could look like by the Fourth of July — an America that was much closer to normal life that we left behind more than a year ago. To celebrate our independence from this virus on July 4th with family and friends in small groups, we still have more to do in the months of May and June. We all need to mask up until the number of cases goes down, until everyone has a chance to get their shot," Biden stated.
Health officials are worried about the hesitancy some Americans have to get the vaccine. Biden had previously stated that he would order states on May 1, 2021, to open up vaccination availability to all those over 16 years of age.
One health official told USA Today that with "a plentiful supply of vaccines, there will be more urgency to convince the reluctant to accept it…Otherwise, the abundance of vaccines will become a stagnating surplus that threatens to undermine the nation’s ability to move beyond the pandemic."