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President Joe Biden told reporters Friday that he doesn't believe the Delta coronavirus variant will lead to another national lockdown, but he still urged people across the country to continue getting vaccinated.
Biden's comment followed remarks at the White House commemorating another coronavirus milestone for the United States: administering 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses.
"I don't think so because a lot of people have still been vaccinated, but the Delta variant can kill people where people have not gotten vaccinated," he answered in response to a question from the press pool. "The variant is unlikely to result into anything. The existing vaccines are very effective. No, it's not a lockdown, but some areas will be very, very hurt."
During his remarks, the president claimed that the U.S. is "heading into a very different summer compared to last year, a bright summer" and one of "joy."
Biden, citing the "incredible progress" his administration had made, maintained that the coronavirus, and the Delta variant in particular, "remains a serious and deadly threat."
"If you are unvaccinated, you're at risk of getting seriously ill or dying or spreading it," he continued. "People getting seriously ill and being hospitalized due to COVID-19 are those who have not been fully vaccinated."
"Thanks to the president’s whole-of-government vaccination effort, the virus is in retreat, which has brought COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths down to their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic last year," a White House official told reporters ahead of Biden's remarks. "The president will also make clear that there is more work to be done and highlight the ongoing work by the Biden-Harris administration to achieve equity in our pandemic response."
The president previously set July 4 as a soft deadline for vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults, and despite the progress made toward that goal during his first 150 days in office, the administration is not on track to meet that goal.
Vaccination rates are at their lowest points since peaking in mid-April, and the U.S. surpassed 600,000 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.
Still, the White House is moving forward with its July 4 celebrations in D.C. Administration officials told reporters on Wednesday that the White House will host 1,000 essential workers and medical professionals for the traditional fireworks display on the National Mall as a celebration of the country's "independence from the virus."
Biden's Friday remarks in their entirety are below.
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Original Author: Christian Datoc