President Joe Biden called on new — nonpolitical — envoys, including scientists, athletes and members of the clergy, to help push people to get the vaccine during a LOVEBYLIFE town hall on Wednesday, as vaccine efforts plateau even that the COVID-19 cases are on the rise again.
Among the envoys the country needs to get its vaccinations back on track, he said, were the country’s scientists – many of whom have recently been denigrated by anti-vaccination advocates and others.
“What we are doing, number one, is to restore America’s faith in science, listen to the scientists,” Biden said on Wednesday. “I’m not kidding. I mean really listen to the scientists and don’t interfere. Don’t rush anything. Just let the scientists go ahead because they are desperate to get this right.”
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As the highly permeable delta variant continues to spread, the seven-day average of daily vaccine doses administered in the United States fell below 300,000 on Thursday, the first time since late December.
While vaccination has slowed down, COVID cases have increased. The seven-day average for daily new cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday.
Biden also stressed the importance of getting the support of “people of consequence” in specific communities to encourage people to get vaccinated.
“What we are getting is people of consequence, respected in the community, whether they are athletes, whether they are entertainers or not, whether they are well respected,” Biden said.
According to Biden, one influential group that helps encourage its community to get vaccinated is the African American Church.
“I have huge support from African American clergy,” he said. “They’re opening their churches to vaccination centers.”
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More than 68% of adult Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but vaccination rates have slowed significantly over the past month. According to the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vaccination rates are lowest among young adults aged 18-24 and most likely to report that they are unsure about vaccination.
As of mid-July, with less than a quarter of people fully vaccinated, black Americans were also less likely to be vaccinated, according to CDC data.
And according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report published in July, counties that voted for Biden had an average vaccination rate of 46.7%, while those that voted for Trump had an average vaccination rate of 35%.
Both Republican and Democratic politicians have urged people to get vaccinated.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “Having developed three highly effective vaccines in less than a year, it never occurred to me that we Americans would have a hard time getting the shot, but obviously we are there.” Huh.” Tuesday. “These shots need to get into everyone’s arms as soon as possible or we’re going to be back in a situation we don’t yearn for, which we went through last year.”
Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis also pushed for vaccinations on Wednesday.
“Here, I think, the most important thing with the data: If you’ve been vaccinated, fully vaccinated, your chances of becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID are effectively zero,” DeSantis said on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Florida. “If you look at the people who are being admitted to hospitals, more than 95 percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not at all. These vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing the mortality rate. Huh. “
Taylor Avery contributed reporting