President Joe Biden touted the progress his administration has made in battling COVID-19 Thursday, as he stressed the need to continue vaccinating Americans who have not yet received their shots.
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“We’re making progress. Nationally, daily cases are down 47 percent. Hospitalizations are down 38 percent over the past six weeks,” Biden said in White House remarks. “It’s important progress, but now’s not the time to let up. We have a lot more to do,” he added.
Biden spoke out against misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccination mandates,and continued to encourage the approximately 66 million unvaccinated Americans to get a shot.
He said employer requirements that their workers be vaccinated are effective and underscored that “vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us.”
Biden has issued a federal vaccine mandate on businesses with 100 or more employees that will be implemented in the coming weeks.
He says the federal government, as well as businesses and community groups, must “continue to battle the misinformation that’s out there.”
He noted both Southwest Airlines and its pilots’ union dismissed claims that worker action over a pending vaccine mandate at the company was responsible for days of disruption at the airline.
Last month, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
More than 716,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to CDC data, and there have been more than 44 million documented cases of the virus. Though almost 77 percent of the U.S. population age 12 and older has received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, community transmission of the disease is still classified as high in most states.
Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson is a funder for the PBS NewsHour.