President Joe Biden, in his first primetime address to the nation since he moved into the White House, focused almost totally on COVID-19’s toehold on America, telling the country that by this Fourth of July, Americans should be able to gather safely together with small groups of family and friends.
That is already happening, however, in countless areas across the country—as some states are now 100 percent open and all kinds of events are in the process of occurring or being planned for the near future.
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“In the coming weeks, we will issue further guidance on what you can and cannot do once fully vaccinated … [This will] encourage more people to get vaccinated,” Biden announced, in part, during his address.
Biden also issued a veiled threat about putting possible lockdowns and restrictions back in place across the country, should the virus again spiral out of control later this year.
The president rather brazenly took credit for the actions of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, in successfully and in record time mobilizing the manufacturing and distribution of vaccinations against the coronavirus. He never mentioned Trump by name.
Biden also announced that his goal is for all American adults to be eligible for the vaccine by May 1.
Plenty of Republicans, conservatives, and others immediately took issue with both the substance and tenor of Biden’s Thursday night speech (Biden took no questions afterward, and to date has not done a press conference as president).
“If every willing person in America is vaccinated for #COVID19 by May, as POTUS has said, why put our lives on hold till July the 4th?” wrote Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Twitter on Friday morning.
In addition, Biden—while repeatedly urging Americans to wear masks, wash hands, stay social distanced, and get the vaccine—never once referenced the very real crisis at America’s southern border.
He did, however, continually speak of darkness and difficulty, of struggle and sacrifice, across our country over the past year.
In an editorial, The New York Post’s Editorial Board wrote on Friday morning, “Part of it, we guess, is that [Biden] needed to accentuate the negative to justify his $1.9 trillion spending spree, even though most of it has nothing to do with relief, recovery or the virus, but only with rewarding his party’s special interests and ideologues.”
The group also said bluntly, “The whole thing felt like a con job, trying to sell Americans a bridge they already own.”
In addition, many people felt that the speech did not convey unity—a concept that Biden has for months strained to stress.
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See these tweets for additional reaction and commentary about Biden’s address on Thursday night.
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Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, web content executive, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.