President Joe Biden commemorated the Fourth of July by lauding Americans’ ‘independence from COVID-19’ and promised a ‘bright future’ as he pushed for the unvaccinated to get the jab.
‘America is coming back together,’ the president said during his address from the South Lawn of the White House.
‘Today we’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from the deadly virus,’ Biden said, but struck a serious tone as he warned that there is still a far way to go.
‘Just as our declaration in 1776 was not a call to action – was a call to action… the same is true today. Back then, we had the power of an idea on our side. Today we have the power of science,’ he added.
As Biden made his remarks, he was faced with the reality of missing two big goals in the vaccination efforts – getting 160 million Americans fully vaccinated and making sure 70 per cent of adults received at least one dose by July 4, 2021.
Biden repeated his claim that getting the jab is ‘the most patriotic thing’ an American can do.
Joe Biden celebrated ‘independence from COVID-19 ‘ during his July 4th speech from the White House on Sunday despite the U.S. missing his goal of getting 70 per cent of Americans at least one shot by the mid-summer holiday
Biden told the hundreds of first responders and military family members gathered for the July 4 celebration the getting vaccinated is the ‘most patriotic thing’ an American can do
Jill and Joe enjoy the fireworks display from the first-floor balcony, underneath the Truman balcony on the south side of the White House, with granddaughters Finnegan (left) and Naomi (right)
‘Today, we celebrate America. Our freedom, our liberty, our independence. The Fourth of July is a sacred day in our country. A day of history, of hope, remembrance and resolve, of promise and possibilities,’ Biden began in remarks celebrating the holiday.
Biden arrived back in Washington D.C. from a short trip to Wilmington, Delaware on Sunday afternoon. Joining him on the flight were first lady Jill Biden, granddaughter Finnegan Biden, 21, and her friend.
Biden’s daughter Ashely and granddaughter Naomi, the daughter of Hunter Biden, also joined the president and first lady for the White House festivities on Sunday.
Ahead of the annual fireworks show, the president hosted a BBQ on the South Lawn of the White House with first responders and military families.
‘It’s the greatest honor to serve as your commander in chief. Thank you for your service and sacrifice,’ the president told the gathered service members.
Biden also highlighted the importance of democracy, saying: ‘Each day we’re reminded there’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy.’
‘Today we’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from the deadly virus,’ Biden said, but struck a serious tone as he warned that there is still a far way to go
Ashley Biden gives her father Joe Biden a kiss on the cheek as they watch fireworks from the White House on July 4, 2021
Selfie time: The president mingles with attendees at his July 4 celebration and takes a selfie with a woman standing to meet him in the South Lawn
The four presidential mascots who do a race ins jest at every National’s baseball game in Washington, D.C. raced around the South Lawn before snapping a picture with the president. Teddy (second from left) broke his losing streak and won the race
‘AMERICA’S BACK TOGETHER’
The theme of the night at the White House was ‘America’s Back Together’, and celebrated a return to normalcy with the creation and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.
Biden vowed when becoming president that Americans would be able to celebrate Independence Day as usual – and he praised his administration during the speech Sunday for delivering on that promise.
Some criticized the White House for going forward with its usual massive South Lawn celebration with variants – like the Delta variant – surging.
Jill Biden took to the band-stand stage at the far-side of the lawn after her husband’s remarks and repeated the sentiment: ‘America’s back together.’
‘We’re emerging from the darkness of years – a year of pandemics, isolation. A year of pain, fear and heartbreaking loss,’ Biden said in his remarks. ‘Think back to where we were a year ago, and think about how far we’ve come.’
He talks about how fans are able to go to their favorite sports events again and families are able to hug one another after a year of being apart.
Biden took this moment to laude economic growth, claiming ‘businesses are opening and hiring’ and there’s ‘record job creation.’
At the onset of the pandemic, a record number of Americans lost their jobs or were furloughed. This led to a series of social programs in form of economic stimulus packages that gave out direct checks and provided boosted unemployment.
Critics claim these programs, expanded under Biden, led to an unenthusiastic American workforce that doesn’t want to return to the office or place or work – instead opting to collect checks.
BIDEN THANKS FRONT-LINE WORKERS
Invited to the BBQ at the White House were the usual slew of military members and their families, a group typically represented during White House July 4 celebrations.
The president paid homage to front-line workers who face particular stresses at their jobs during the last year of the pandemic. Biden’s call-out included thanking researchers, educators and health care workers.
‘While the virus hasn’t been vanquished, we know this – it no longer controls our lives, it no longer paralyzes our nation, and it’s within our power to make sure it never does again.’
And for that,’ he continued, ‘we thank the scientists, the researchers, the educators, all the other frontline essential workers, like many of you here today.’
Biden watches fireworks over the National Mall from the White House with Beau’s daughter Finnegan (hugging him from behind), Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi (center) and his daughter Ashely (right)
During his speech, Biden also touched on some progressive agenda items, including the For the People voting rights act that has had trouble garnering Republican support in Congress and failed to overcome a Senate filibuster last month.
The president said Americans have ‘the right to vote and have that vote counted’, which garnered a loud cheer from the hundreds gathered on the South Lawn.
Democrats claim that the American voting system is systematically racist and tries to stifle the black vote by making it harder for poorer communities to cast their ballot.
Biden sympathized with civil rights activists, saying that American hasn’t fully lived up to its creed that ‘all men are created equal.’
After quoting that part of the Declaration of Independence, Biden said: ‘Well we’ve never fully lived up to those words.’
‘We’ve never given up on them,’ he added.
Despite the celebratory occasion, the president reflected on the over 600,000 lives lost from the virus’, and continued to push for the rest of Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Biden set a goal to get 70 per cent of Americans at least one dose of the vaccine against coronavirus and for 160 million to be fully inoculated by July 4, 2021 – and the administration fell short of both. Only 67% of adults across America have received one dose of the vaccine by the holiday.
‘The best defense against these variants – you get vaccinated,’ Biden whispered the second part into the microphone and was met with a loud cheer from the mask-less audience.
‘My fellow Americans, it’s the most patriotic thing you can do,’ the president so.
He urged: ‘So please, if you haven’t gotten vaccinated, do it – do it now. For yourself, for your loved ones, for your community.’
President Joe Biden (left) departs Air Force One ahead of his July 4 speech with granddaughter Finnegan Biden, her friend (far right) and first lady Jill Biden in tow
Earlier on Sunday, a White House official said that Biden will use the celebration to mark the country’s progress in its pandemic response.
‘Thanks to his whole-of-government approach and the strength of the American people,’ the official continued, ‘vaccinations continue to rise and cases and deaths have fallen by more than 90 per cent since January.’
‘Because of this, Americans across the country are able to celebrate this Fourth of July together.’
‘He will note that, while we’ve made strong progress against the virus in the United States, the job is far from over,’ the White House official said of Biden’s upcoming speech. ‘He will urge every American to join the fight—to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated—and reiterate his Administration’s redoubled efforts to boost vaccinations.’
Back to normal: People gather on the National Mall for the 245th Anniversary of the U.S. declaring independence from Britain. The CDC recommends vaccinated Americans can gather normally without fear of a super spreader
A group of women from Ohio dance outside the White House on July 4
The president started his Independence Day with a trip to church in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware .
He emerged from St. Joseph on the Brandywine on Sunday morning and was pictured walking through the cemetery, where his son Beau Biden is buried.
Jill Biden, who is usually alongside her husband for church services, was not pictured with him this Sunday. Instead, she was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania attending and speaking at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony in front of Independence Hall.
Biden spends the majority of his weekends away from Washington in Wilmington, where he is usually pictured attending Catholic mass once – sometime twice – during his two-day stay.
The first couple departed from Wilmington on Sunday afternoon to head back to Washington, D.C. for a July 4 celebration at the White House.
Biden, a devout Catholic, spent his Independence Day morning attending mass at St. Joseph on the Brandywine in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. First lady Jill Biden was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania speaking at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony in front of Independence Hall
The president will make remarks to mark Independence Day, but the White House notes it will also be a speech celebrating ‘independence from COVID-19’.
Essential workers and military families are invited to the Fourth of July BBQ at the White House ahead of Biden’s remarks – despite concerns of the Delta variant.
‘The President will thank the military families and essential workers who are attending the event for their sacrifices for our country, especially during the pandemic,’ the official said. ‘And he’ll reflect on the progress our nation has made to live up to our founding ideals, and the work still to be done.’
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients defended the celebration to ABC News.
‘The event at the White House is being done in the right way,’ he said, assuring it is being conducted ‘consistent with CDC guidelines.’
Biden and First Lady Jill will then view the annual fireworks display over the National Mall from the White House.
Vice President Kamala Harris is spending her holiday at her home in Los Angeles, California.
After church, Biden played a round of golf at Wilmington Country Club with former Senator Ted Kaufman. Pictures are the two departing the course on July 4, 2021
Before heading back to D.C., Biden stopped by Wilmington Country Club for a round of golf with former Senator Ted Kaufman.
Ahead of the holiday, Biden’s administration has lauded their vaccine push and insisted that celebrating July 4 in the traditional way is safe again – as long as all the people engaging in the festivities have received the jab.
However, the U.S. missed Biden’s goal of getting 160 million Americans fully immunized by the mid-summer holiday. He also wanted at least 70 per cent of adults to have received at least one shot by July 4, 2021, a second vaccine goal that was not reached.
Zients, who succeeded Dr. Deborah Birx, said the failure could be due to young people who were made eligible for the vaccine much later than adults.
He also told ABC’s This Week on Sunday that this demographic has ‘felt less vulnerable to the disease.’
‘We made a lot of progress,’ Zients praised in a separate interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning. ‘I think we’re much further along than anyone would have anticipated at this point.’
Joe Biden’s Fourth of July speech in full: America is close to ‘independence from COVID’
President Joe Biden uses his Fourth of July speech to declare the US close to independence from COVID-19 despite missing 70% vaccination goal
Today we celebrate America. Freedom, our liberty, our independence. The Fourth of July, today of history, hope, remembrance and resolve with promise and possibilities. Before me stands the greatest and the goodness of our nation – monuments of life, liberty.
There is a towering memorial of George Washington. A general who led our revolution, the president who set our nation on its course. A memorial for Thomas Jefferson, whose words about liberty and equality changed the world. And across the tidal basin, from the Jefferson memorial, stands Dr. Martin Luther king Jr., his arms crossed, his eyes fixed ahead toward the promise land where equality is not only an aspiration but a reality.
They help define who we are. Guide what we do. Remind us of the works that they have given us in our own time.
This year, the Fourth of July, is a special celebration. We’re emerging from the darkness of a year of pandemic and isolation, a year of pain, fear and heartbreaking loss. Think back to where this nation was a year ago, to where you were a year ago. Think about how far we’ve come.
People waving the American flag. Fans back in their seats, cheering together, families, pressing hands against windows, to grandchildren and grandparents hugs, businesses are opening entirely. We’re seeing record job creation, and record economic growth, the best in four decades, I might add the best in the world.
Today all across the nation, we could say with confidence, America is coming back together.
245 years ago we declared our Independence from a distant king. Today we’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus. That is not to say the battle against Covid-19 is over, we have a lot more work to do. But just as our declaration of 1776 was was a call to action, not a reason for complacency, it was a call to action. The same is true today, back then we had the power of an idea on our side, today the power of science.
Thanks to our heroic vaccine efforts our economy is roaring back. Don’t get me wrong, Covid-19 has not been – we know that variants have emerged. Get vaccinated. The most patriotic thing you can do, please, if you have not gotten vaccinated, do it, do it now. For yourself. For your loved ones. For your community. For your country. You know, that is how we’ll stay ahead of this variant.
Never again want to be where we were a year ago today.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden watch fireworks on the National Hall from the White House’s Truman balcony
Today the virus has been vanquished. We know, it no longer controls our lives, and no longer paralyzes our nation. It is within our power to make sure it never does it again. For that, we can thank the scientists, researchers, educators and all other front line essential workers like many of you here today.
I hope you know that you, the American people, have been part of one of most remarkable achievements. In this moment of joy, you know that this day falls hard on those who lost a loved one, the number of Americans who lost their lives. Sons and daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents. Neighbors, coworkers, we remember all those who we lost this year. We have to remember.
Unlike every other nation on Earth, we were founded. We hold these truths to be self evident that all people are created equal and among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have never fully lived up to the words but we never give up on them. Treat everyone with dignity and respect
All of the servicemen and women here tonight, all of you serving in the world, thank you for your service and sacrifice. Like so many military families, thank you. All part of a long chain for the sake of this nation. Peace and security and opportunity. Every one of us, every American. Each day we are reminded of the pursuit of happiness, drink clean water, and know our children and grandchildren are safe on this planet for generations to come.
Spirit of Independence. A nation. We are a great nation. We work to make it great. We unite in common causes. There is no limit to what we can achieve. Today we see the results of unity.
Together we are beating the virus, together. Over the past year. We have come through some of our darkest days. The brightest future. This is a special nation, a great nation, no matter your race or ethnicity or gender or faith.
Unite America. Whether your ancestors are native to the land or immigrants, or you are coming here today looking to build a better life for your family, like our fellow Americans that I just swore in, in the White House two days ago. The American dream, we use that phrase, the American dream. It was written a long time ago.
My fellow Americans, now we’re the guardians of the idea of America, it is up to us to save it to preserve it, to build on it. And I know we will. I look out to those monuments, and beyond them to the hearts of the people across the land, I know this is never ever been a good bet to bet against America, never.
Remember who we are. We are the United States of America. There is nothing, nothing we can’t do if we do it together. Happy Fourth of July America. God bless you. May God protect our troops.