President Joe Biden has 32 days and 18 million people to go to meet his July 4 goal of having 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19.
What You Need To Know
- President Joe Biden kicked off a month-long strategy Wednesday and outlined his plans to have 70% of American adults vaccinated by July 4
- As part of its efforts during to incentivize vaccinations, the White House has partnered with businesses, colleges, mayors, social media influencers and community organizations
- Biden's “Month of Action” will include grassroots efforts, a national tour by the vice president, free child care and prizes from major companies
- To date, nearly 63% of the adult U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
The president kicked off a new strategy on Wednesday to reach his vaccination goal as he tries to return the nation to a pre-pandemic sense of normalcy this summer, updating the nation on the vaccination rollout in a speech from the White House.
The White House said Biden's "National Month of Action" will be an “all-of-America sprint” drawing on public-private partnerships to encourage Americans to roll up their sleeves, including businesses, social media influencers, colleges, celebrities and community organizations.
On Wednesday, the president urged Americans to “exercise” their freedom and make the right choice by getting vaccinated.
“Let’s go into the summer freer and safer, and celebrate a truly historic Independence Day,” he said.
To date, nearly 63% of the adult U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 133.6 million are fully vaccinated. Over the next month, President Biden hopes to have 70% of adults with at least one shot and another 26 million get their second.
The rate of first-time vaccinations has slowed again to an average below 600,000 per day, down from more than 800,000 per day when incentives like lotteries were announced, and down from a peak of nearly 2 million per day in early April when demand for shots was much higher.
To kick off the national “Month of Action,” the White House announced on Wednesday a slew of new initiatives and also launched a dedicated website where Americans can read a list of companies offering vaccination incentives.
The president even teased a visit to the White House as a potential prize.
“Do it for yourself. Do it to protect those more vulnerable than you. Your friends, your family, your community,” Biden said.
Over the next month, for example, four of the country's largest child care providers will provide free child care to parents and caregivers to get vaccinated or recover from vaccinations.
KinderCare and Learning Care Group locations nationwide will offer free, drop-in appointments to parents or caregivers who need vaccinations or help recovering from shots; More than 500 YMCAs nationwide, in nearly every state, will offer drop-in care during vaccinations; And Bright Horizons will provide free child care to support over 10 million workers employed at participating organizations who need vaccinations.
The White House will also launch two challenges — one for mayors and one for colleges — to see who can get the most people vaccinated over the next month, prior to the president’s July 4 goal, with recognition of the winners later this summer.
Both will include toolkits and help from the federal government, and the college challenge will also offer training sessions, the chance to establish on-campus vaccination sites and the ability to create a student corps to encourage vaccinations among the student body.
The administration is also preparing a grassroots movement to connect to Americans within their communities, including a new program called Shots at the Shop, a partnership “that will engage Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons across the country,” according to a White House fact sheet. The initiative will especially focus on areas of the U.S. hard hit by COVID-19.
Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and cabinet members will also go on a “We Can Do This” tour across the U.S. in the next weeks, focused on the south, where they’ll “highlight the ease of getting vaccinated” and encourage more people to get their shots.
Those trips will be matched with local canvassing, phone banking, text banking and other on-the-ground work by the COVID-19 Community Corps, which Americans can join through the Department of Health and Human Services.
On Wednesday, the president pointed out the need to get people vaccinated during the summer, when people are outside more often, in order to prevent a spike in the fall or winter when the weather changes.
“If you're unvaccinated, you are still at risk of getting seriously ill or dying or spreading disease to others,” Biden said. “The vaccines are effective against the variants currently circulating in the United States. On the other hand, COVID deaths are unchanged in many parts of our country that are lagging behind in vaccinations.”
State governments have also gotten in on the push for action. Ohio, New York and California are among states giving out cash prizes. Some states are also giving out beer, scholarships and amusement park tickets. West Virginia announced Tuesday that it is giving away cash, trips and trucks, but also hunting rifles and shotguns.
Twelve states have given at least one shot to 70% of adults and more than 28 states and D.C. have fully vaccinated 50% or more, “but millions of Americans still need protection against the virus,” according to a White House fact sheet.
For one adult incentive, the White House has partnered with Anheuser-Busch to give drinking-age adults a free beer if the U.S. meets Biden’s 70% goal, the brewing company announced Wednesday morning.
If the country reaches Biden’s goal, Americans can claim their free beer — in the form of a $5 virtual gift card — by visiting MyCooler.com/beer and uploading a photo of themselves in their favorite place to grab a beer — a bar, a restaurant, their own backyards, wherever.
Anheuser-Busch, the brewer behind brands such as Budweiser, Michelob and Busch, says the “Let’s Grab a Beer” initiative is its biggest beer giveaway ever.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we are committed to supporting the safe and strong recovery of our nation and being able to be together again at the places and with the people we have missed so much,” said Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris. “This commitment includes encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, and we are excited to buy Americans 21+ a round of beer when we reach the White House goal,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO, Anheuser-Busch.”
The promotion would last for seven days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm the 70% number has been met or until all prizes have been claimed.
Other incentives from businesses touted by the White House include a sweepstakes from CVS to win free cruises, tickets to Super Bowl LVI and cash prizes, Major League Baseball offering free tickets to people who get vaccinated and offering on-site vaccinations at baseball games, Microsoft donating thousands of Xbox video game consoles to Boys and Girls Clubs in hard-hit areas that will run educational vaccine seminars and United Airlines' “Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes, which will give vaccinated customers the chance to win free flights.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.