President Joe Biden’s prediction of 70% of Americans being fully vaccinated by the July 4th holiday didn’t quite come true, but we’re close. However, the President’s hope that the country’s celebration would look far different from 2020’s was at least true as he and the First Lady hosted guests on the White House lawn.
There was some concern inside the White House about the optics of the July 4th party, with the Delta variant creeping its way across vulnerable populations of the US, according to one official. But there was never a consideration of canceling the event. Guests were advised to get a test up to three days before the party, but won’t be required to have been vaccinated. Masks for vaccinated people won’t be required, in keeping with current guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaccines have been found to be effective against preventing severe disease caused by the Delta variant and other variants, yet the pace of Covid-19 vaccinations has been steadily slowing across the country. The vaccines, once in short supply, are now available in surplus; the White House had already conceded last week that the goal wouldn’t be fully met.
Convincing vaccine holdouts remains a challenge. A Gallup poll released June 7th found that of those not planning to get vaccinated, 78 percent said they were unlikely to reconsider, including 51 percent who said they were “not likely at all” to change their minds. For President Biden and his aides, the reality is setting in that getting the entire country vaccinated will be the work of his entire presidency — and that pockets of the nation where vaccination rates remain low will continue to suffer outbreaks that hamper the nationwide recovery effort. Most US adults who plan to get vaccinated against Covid-19 have already done so, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released this week. However, some Americans who were previously hesitant about the vaccines are now finally rolling up their sleeves, whether it’s family members or various state-run lotteries as incentives.
Still, the scientific community at large is begging those who are still unvaccinated to put their community ahead of themselves in the effort to stop the spread of the virus, which can only happen with enough people immune to prevent it from spreading to more human hosts. Jonathan Capehart devoted a portion of “The Sunday Show” to the growing concerns around the Delta variant showing up when it definitely wasn’t invited to the cookout. Watch the full segment, below.