Apr 6, 2021
Joe Biden Speech on State of Vaccine Rollout Transcript April 6
President Joe Biden gave a speech on the state of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on April 6, 2021. Read the transcript of his remarks here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Joe Biden : (01:09)
[inaudible 00:01:09] we should be doing this outside. Good afternoon everyone. I just visited a vaccination clinic in Virginia at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. The seminary and other houses of worship in the area are partnering with the community health centers to offer vaccination and vaccination sites. They’re seeing these kinds of partnerships we’re in, not just there, but we’re seeing them all over the country. People are coming together across the different faiths to serve those most in need with special focus on vaccinating seniors from all races, backgrounds and walks of life. It’s an example from America at its finest and they’re all meeting what Pope Francis calls, the moral obligation get vaccinated. Something which [inaudible 00:02:07] say can save your life and the lives of others. And I was at the seminary clinic to mark an important milestone as well. Yesterday we crossed 150 million shots in 75 days, the first 75 days of my administration. On our way to hitting our goal of 200 million shots by the hundredth day in office.
Joe Biden : (02:31)
That of course is the new goal I said, after passing the original mark of 100 million shots in my first hundred days. Doing that in just 58 days. At the time, some said a hundred million shots was too ambitious. And then they said it wasn’t ambitious enough. Well, we got to keep moving if we could raise it up higher, I’d do that as well. But we know, we know what we have to do, we have to ramp up a whole of government approach that rallies the whole country and puts us on a war footing to truly beat this virus. And that’s what we’ve been doing. Getting enough vaccine supply, mobilizing more vaccinators, creating more places to get vaccinated and we’re now administrating an average of 3 million shots per day, over 20 million shots a week. On Saturday alone, we reported more than 4 million shots were administered. We’re the first country to administer 150 million shots and the first country to fully vaccinate over 62 million people.
Joe Biden : (03:36)
But here’s the deal. I promised an update to the American people every 50 millionth shot. And I’m already back to update you a little over two weeks, two and a half weeks later. I promised in the beginning that I’d always give you the straight scoop straight from the shoulder, the good and the bad. Well here’s the truth. The good news is we’re on track to beat our goal of 200 million shots in the first hundred days. More than 75% of the people over the age of 65 have gotten shots, up from 8% when we took office. That’s a dramatic turnaround and critical because seniors account for 80% of all COVID deaths. To help support my goal of safely or opening the majority of K through eight schools by my hundredth day in office, I directed states in early March to make educators and childcare workers eligible for vaccines and to get a goal of getting all who wanted the vaccination to be able to have one and to do it in the month of March.
Joe Biden : (04:46)
I’m pleased to report according to CDC estimates, over 80% of teachers, school staff and childcare workers received at least one shot by the end of March. And that’s great progress, protecting our educators, our essential workers. And because our vaccine program is in overdrive, we’re making it easier to get a vaccination shot. Last week, I announced that by April 19th of this month, 90% of all Americans will be within five miles of a vaccination site. And further good news is that we’re getting more and more data on just how effective the vaccines are. Dr. Fauci recently cited two studies from the New England Journal of Medicine that found fully vaccinated care workers, healthcare workers on the front lines had extremely low infection rates, less than two tenths of 1% compared to unvaccinated healthcare workers, quite considerably higher infection rates. So we’re making incredible progress. There’s a lot of good news but there’s also some bad news.
Joe Biden : (05:58)
New variants of the virus are spreading and there’s moving quickly. Cases are going back up. Hospitalizations are no longer declining while deaths are still down, down way down from January, they’re going up in some places. So you might ask, everybody’s asking, what does that mean? I understand that people may find it confusing that the vaccination program is saving tens of thousands of lives, but the pandemic remains dangerous. Let me explain it in a single word, time, time. Even moving at the record speed we’re moving at, we’re not even halfway through vaccinating over 300 million Americans. This is going to take time. Remember, for a two dose vaccine, it takes weeks from the time you get your first one until you’re able to get your second shot which makes you fully protected. If you get your first shot next week in mid April, you won’t be fully protected until May, late May. If you get your first shot in mid May, you aren’t fully protected until late June.
Joe Biden : (07:14)
So look, now on the one hand, June isn’t that far away given how long this has been going on, but it isn’t here yet either. So the virus is spreading because we have too many people who seen the end in sight, think we’re at the finish line already. But let me be deadly earnest with you, we aren’t at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do. We’re still in a life and death race against this virus. Until we get more people vaccinated, we need everyone to wash their hands, socially distance and mask up in a recommended mask from the CDC. Think about it this way, better times are ahead. And as I said before, we can have a safe, happy 4th of July with your family and your friends and small groups in your backyard.
Joe Biden : (08:11)
The real question is how much death, disease and misery are we going to see between now and then? In January, just the month of January we lost 95,774 Americans. In March, that was 37,172 Americans. All told y’all I keep doing this I know, but I carry this card every day with my schedule on it and on the back I have a COVID update. The total number of deaths in the United States to date is 554,064 dead. That’s lives that had been lost. What we do now, we’re going to determine how many people we’ll save or lose in the month of April and May and June before we get to July 4th. So please, until we’re further along in this accelerating successful but still growing vaccination effort, please wash your hands, practice social distances, wear a mask as recommended by the CDC, get vaccinated when it’s your turn.
Joe Biden : (09:36)
Why I’m asking Americans, the American people to do their job, here’s what I’m doing. When we first started our vaccination program, the real question was how quickly we could get shots in people’s arms. Well, by the end of May, the vast majority of all Americans will have gotten at least their first shot. That success is going to save lives and get this country back to normal sooner, but it’s not enough. On March the 11th, I announced that I was opening up all vaccination sites to all adults by May 1st. Many governors, Democrats and Republicans responded and decided to beat that day, which was good. Thanks to their hard work and the hard work of the American people and the hard work of my team, I’m announcing today that we’re moving that day up from May 1st to April 19th nationwide. That means by no later than April 19th in every part of this country, every adult over the age of 18, 18 or older will be eligible to be vaccinated.
Joe Biden : (10:52)
No more confusing rules, no more confusing restrictions. My message today is a simple one. Many states have already opened up to all adults, but beginning April 19th, every adult in every state, every adult in this country is eligible to get in line to get a COVID vaccination. And today in advance of that new national full eligibility date, I want to make a direct appeal to our seniors and everyone who cares about them. While we have made incredible progress vaccinating three quarters of our seniors and putting vaccination sites within five miles of 90% of the public, it still isn’t enough. It’s simple, seniors it’s time for you to get vaccinated now, get vaccinated now.
Joe Biden : (11:48)
To make it easier, my administration is sending aid to community groups to drive seniors to vaccination sites. We’re incredibly grateful to all the volunteers, houses of worship and civic groups that are helping us in this effort. This is America. We take care of one another. We have to keep it up. As we ask our seniors to sign up for their shots now, I also have a message for people under 65. If you know someone over 65 who has not gotten this life saving vaccine, call them now. Work with them to get their shots this week or next. Pick them up, drive them. It can be your parents, your grandparents, your aunt, uncle, your new neighbors. And finally, even after we opened up vaccinations to all adults and put a site within five miles of 90% of the public, we know there are many people who still struggle to get access to a shot.
Joe Biden : (12:53)
We know that there are a number of seniors and people with disabilities and people in many communities of color who may be isolated and lack access to transportation. That’s why we’re ramping up transportation to vaccination centers and deploying more mobile units and pop-up clinics in the places close to where people live. That’s why we’re working with faith-based organizations and other community groups to host vaccination clinics, sign people up for appointments, get help, help them get those appointments. That’s why we’re sending even more vaccines to community health centers like the one I was at today that all together serve nearly 30 million Americans, like the ones I visited today. Two thirds of the patients at community health centers live at or below the poverty level. 60% are racial and ethnic minorities. To reach them, we’re investing nearly $10 billion to expand testing, treatment and vaccinations for the hardest hit yet most underserved communities.
Joe Biden : (14:04)
Let me close with this. We vaccinated more people in than any other nation on earth. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. That should give us real hope, but we can’t let it make us complacent. Despite the progress we’re making as a nation, I want every American to know in no uncertain terms that this fight isn’t over. This progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve can be reversed. Now’s not the time to let down. Now’s not the time to celebrate. It’s time to do what we do best as a country, do our duty, our jobs, taking care of one another. And we can and we’ll do this, but we can’t let up now. My hope is before the summer’s over, I’m talking to you all about how we have even access to more vaccines than we need to take care of every American.
Joe Biden : (15:08)
And we’re helping other poor countries, countries around the world that don’t have the money, the time, the expertise. Because until this vaccine is available to the world and we’re beating back the virus in other countries, we’re not really completely safe. So we’ve made great progress. I’m still looking forward to the prospect that we keep the pace we’re on and we listen to one another and take the precautions that I talked about. That we would you be able to have a 4th of July, an independence day on July the fourth. As I defined about three weeks ago, I want to have an independence day an independence from the COVID. So you’re able to get in the backyard with a small group of people, of friends and neighbors and celebrate independence day because you’ve been vaccinated, because you’re safe, because you’re in the clear. May God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (16:14)
[crosstalk 00:16:14] In Vienna, how are the Vienna talks going?
Joe Biden : (16:19)
I’ll report on that later.
Speaker 3: (16:20)
Mr President, do you think the Masters Golf Tournament should be moved out of Georgia?
Joe Biden : (16:23)
I think that’s up to the masters. Look, it is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws are just antithetical to who we are. There’s another side to it too. The other side to it too is when they in fact move out of Georgia, the people who need the help the most, people who are making hourly wages, sometimes get hurt the most. I think it’s a very tough decision for a corporation to make or group to make, but I respect them when they make that judgment and I support whatever judgment they make. But it’s the best way to deal with this is for Georgia and other states to smarten up, stop it, stop it, stop getting people [inaudible 00:17:37].
Speaker 4: (17:36)
Despite your passionate appeal now, there are many Americans who are very reluctant to take the vaccine, especially in red states. Why the white house hasn’t used a more forceful campaign like advertisement on television for example to convince Americans to take that vaccine so we can [crosstalk 00:17:57]
Joe Biden : (17:57)
We are, we are doing that. And by the way, the number of people who are reluctant to take it has continued to diminish, continue to diminish across the country. As they see their neighbors, particularly in communities that have been very, now there’s a different group of people. There’s a group of people who have been reluctant because of past, how can I say it? Past wrongs that have been done to them, experimentation, not sure that they’re being told the truth et cetera. But then there’s another group. It seems to me to be, I probably shouldn’t characterize it, but Mitch McConnell keeps speaking to them, which I give him credit for saying the idea that he said the polling data shows Republican men, particularly young men, don’t think they should have to take the vaccine. It’s their patriotic right not to do it, their freedom to choose. And he’s saying, no, no, take the vaccine, take the vaccine. And I’ll add a phrase he didn’t, but I think he believes it’s a patriotic responsibility you have. Last question.
Speaker 5: (18:58)
Mr President have you spoken to the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jay Powell yet?
Joe Biden : (19:07)
I have not.
Speaker 5: (19:07)
The reason why you have not spoken to him yet sir?
Joe Biden : (19:08)
Look, I think the federal reserve is an independent operation. And starting off my presidency I want to be real clear that I’m not going to do the kinds of things that have been done in the last administration. Either talking to the attorney general about who he’s going to prosecute or not prosecute and under what circumstances or the fed telling them what they should and shouldn’t do. Even though that wouldn’t be the basis upon which I’d be talking to them. So I’ve been very fastidious about not talking to them. I do talk to the secretary of treasury. Thank you all very much.
Speaker 6: (19:42)
One more on COVID Mr. President, you mentioned 554,064 American dead from COVID 19. A lot of families want to know how this happened, how it got here. Have you had a chance to speak to any of your international partners, any of them. President Xi, who I know you go way back with, have you had a chance to ask him if these reports are true, that China maybe misled the world at the beginning?
Joe Biden : (20:04)
No, I have not had that conversation with president Xi. Thank you.