On one hand, sports and fun. On the other hand, failure and death. On Day 104, Biden threw the book at those who don’t want a coronavirus vaccine, while also touting fun new incentives.
New Vaccine Push Fires On All (Different) Messaging Cylinders.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a push to administer at least one vaccine to 70 percent of the U.S. adult population by July 4, calling the current situation “a dramatic turnaround from where we were in January, when less than 2 percent of adults and less than 1 percent of seniors were fully vaccinated.”
Strictly speaking, it’s not so much a turnaround as a predictable trajectory. Nevertheless, there’s good news: Cases are down in 40 states and deaths are down dramatically since January.
Biden previewed the next phase of vaccine rollout: Vaccines may soon be available to teenagers aged 12-15, pending a decision from the FDA. A handful of new measures are being launched to simplify the vaccination process and get more vaccines to rural America—visit “vaccines.gum—.gov—vaccines.gum,” Biden said. And “we’re working with major sports leagues to launch special promotions for their fans—things like ticket giveaways, in-stadium vaccination programs, discounts on merchandise, and other creative ways to make it easier and more fun to get vaccinated.”
With regard to vaccine-hesitant Americans, Biden said, “There are a lot of younger people, especially those in their 20s and 30s, who believe they don’t need it. Well, I want to be absolutely clear: You do need to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it also reduces the risk that you give the virus to somebody else . . . Even if your chance of getting seriously ill is low, why take the risk when you have a safe, free, and convenient way to prevent it?” He spared no sympathy in a later comment to reporters: “At the end of the day, most people will be convinced by the fact that their failure to get the vaccine may cause other people to get sick and maybe die.”
Despite having recently appeared in a photo with former president Jimmy Carter sans mask, the president added, “Masking as directed is a patriotic duty, but so too is treating each other with respect and patience.”
Psaki: “The President Has A Plan” On The Border.
It’s not clear who in the Biden administration is responsible for the U.S. southern border at this point, but press secretary Jen Psaki provided an update on the situation on Tuesday, assuring Americans that “the president has a plan.”
- The influx of migrants at the border began under and was worsened by the Trump administration, Psaki said;
- The number of children in CBP custody has been reduced from 5,000 at the end of March to approximately 600. (Not mentioned: As of last week, there were still more than 22,000 children in HHS custody);
- The amount of time children spend in CBP facilities has been reduced from 131 hours at the end of March to under 30 hours;
- The Department of Homeland Security is working on reuniting several families who were separated under the last administration—some of whom were evidently separated before the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy was announce;
- Bottom line: “Migration is a dynamic and evolving challenge, but the president has a plan and we’re working on implementing it.”
Currently, migrants who arrive at the border in family groups are experiencing inconsistent enforcement of the Title 42 emergency public health authority. Some have been denied asylum claims and expelled outright, some flown to other parts of the southern border and then expelled, and others have been expelled but denied by Mexico and therefore released into the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “has been sending a daily list of 35 vulnerable families and individuals stranded in Mexico to the Biden administration so they can be admitted and allowed to continue their cases in the U.S.,” CBS reports,