Review of Biden’s first prime-time speech: Here’s what presidential leadership looks like
There were plenty of highlights last night in President Joe Biden’s first address to the nation since his inauguration – a speech that took place on the first anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring that the COVID-19 outbreak was a pandemic.
There was his announcement that he is ordering states to make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1. Biden’s COVID-19 advisers predict that enough Americans in priority groups will be able to access the vaccine by the end of April to allow restrictions on who can access the vaccine to be lifted.
There was his announcement that the nation would have easily surpassed its initial promise of getting 100 million US gunshots in the first 100 days of his administration (it now looks like the target will be met in 60).
It was announced that his administration had secured an additional $ 100million from the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, after helping to negotiate a deal in which the drugmaker would partner with rival Merck to produce doses faster.
It has been announced that the Department of Health and Human Services will launch a new website for individuals to check if they are eligible to volunteer to administer injections. The United States will also expand the number of people qualified to administer injections – earlier today its administration said it would add dentists, advanced and intermediate emergency medical technicians, midwives, optometrists. , paramedics, medical assistants, chiropodists, respiratory therapists and veterinarians. listing.
Biden will also look to make it easier for Americans to find a vaccination appointment, announcing plans to launch a federal website by May 1 that will show nearby locations that have vaccines, as well as a number. 1-800 for those who do not have Internet access. The administration also said it will deploy tech teams to states that need help improving the websites they use to schedule vaccinations.
He discussed that the administration has launched federally run vaccination sites across the country and will more than double the number of federal mass vaccination centers. More than 4,000 active-duty soldiers will be deployed to support these vaccination efforts.
And there was his discussion of the US bailout package he signed off earlier today – a massive pandemic stimulus bill that includes $ 20 billion to boost vaccination efforts across the country. countries and which, according to experts, will be one of the most effective measures to reduce poverty in modern countries. the story.
But if there was one highlight of the interview, it was the sheer honesty, frankness and skill that the president displayed. Throughout the remarks, Biden spoke as a real, genuine human being who understands the way people suffer, empathizes with it, and is serious about doing whatever he can to make things better.
Biden was honest with people. He admitted that we are far from being out of the woods, that there will be hard times ahead and that it is imperative that Americans stick to safety protocols that will allow us to overcome COVID-19. He asked people to make sacrifices for the common good.
The bottom line: This is what presidential leadership looks like. After a four-year long national nightmare punctuated by 10 months of terror, America has once again a real president – a good, competent, and honest man who can help us out of the wilderness we have wandered into.
State Newsroom reporter Laura Olson’s coverage of yesterday’s events contributed to this comment.