North Carolinians who showed up to get vaccinated for COVID-19 at a mobile unit in Raleigh on Thursday got the chance to take a photo with President Joe Biden. But the way the president acted during the photo-op left many scratching their heads.
A new video shared by the Republican National Committee shows Biden taking efforts to practice social distancing while posing for a photo with what appears to be a group of vaccine recipients and health care workers, even as he is fully vaccinated and even as the photo was being taken outside, where the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the risk of transmitting the coronavirus is lessened.
In fact, the latest guidance from the CDC indicates that fully vaccinated Americans can forgo masks in nearly all circumstances. Still, those around Biden could be seen sporting face coverings in the GOP’s video — and, of course, keeping their distance. Take a look:
Perhaps fittingly, Biden’s visit to North Carolina was meant to encourage residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The Tar Heel State currently has one of the lowest vaccination rates, according to reports, as just roughly 55% of North Carolina adults have received at least one dose of the shot.
States like Massachusetts and Vermont currently sit at the top of the pack, with vaccination rates among adults sitting well above 80%, according to Forbes.
All-in-all, roughly 65% of adult Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine for COVID-19, and about 56%, or 153 million, are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot, according to the CDC.
They’re likely disappointing numbers for Biden, who had hoped to see 70% of American adults vaccinated by July 4.
Speaking in North Carolina, Biden gave his latest pitch for getting the shot: “The science is clear. The best way to protect yourself against the virus and its variants is to be fully vaccinated,” he said, according to a White House transcript.
The president went on: “It works. It’s free. It’s safe. It’s easy. It’s convenient.”
Biden also encouraged those who remain hesitant to get the vaccine to speak with family members and other trusted members of their communities.
“If you still have questions, that’s OK,” he said, according to the transcript. “Talk to people who you know who have gotten the shot… Talk to your doctor or your health provider,” the president added before admitting he’s likely “preaching to the choir, I know.”