As Joe Biden declares that “America is back,” the 46th president has been shy about admitting his latest defeat.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden didn’t reach his goal of convincing 70% of American adults to get at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 by the Fourth of July.
The Examiner cited data from the CDC that said some 67% of adults have gotten at least one shot for the coronavirus, about 8 million short of Biden’s hopes.
“More normal life”
Despite its shortcomings, the White House still seems to be claiming victory. As the Examiner noted, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients told CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday that he feels the administration has “made a lot of progress.”
“I think more progress, it’s fair to say, than anyone had expected,” he said, according to a transcript from CBS, “with two out of three Americans now with at least one shot of vaccine and importantly, close to 90% of those 65 years and older with one shot and close to 80% fully vaccinated.”
Zients went on: “That’s particularly important because we started the vaccination campaign focused on the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, people 65 and older accounted for about 80% of COVID deaths.”
The Biden adviser also told CBS that “with so many people now vaccinated, tens of millions of Americans can now return to…more normal life, you know, getting together with friends and family, going to restaurants, attending sporting events.” Take a look:
38% of Republicans say they won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. How does the White House plan to combat this hesitancy? WH COVID task force head Jeff Zients emphasizes that the WH must “meet people where they are” and “have trusted messengers at a local level.” pic.twitter.com/KvSfkskYEi
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 4, 2021
America is back?
Biden himself also seemed to take a victory lap this Independence Day. “This Fourth of July, America is back,” he wrote in a tweet.
“We’re headed into a summer of joy — of freedom — thanks to the millions of Americans who stepped up to get vaccinated. To the frontline and essential workers who have made this day possible: thank you,” the president added.
This Fourth of July, America is back.
We’re headed into a summer of joy – of freedom – thanks to the millions of Americans who stepped up to get vaccinated. To the frontline and essential workers who have made this day possible: thank you. pic.twitter.com/g6cztrJDT8
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 4, 2021
At least Biden got one thing right: despite not hitting the White House’s goal, many Americans are moving forward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as localities continue to lift mask orders and other pandemic-related regulations. Unfortunately for the president and his PR team, it doesn’t seem he had anything to do with it.