(USA Features) President Joe Biden said “small” Fourth of July celebrations this year may have to be cancelled if Americans haven’t gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.
“To celebrate our independence from this virus on July 4 with family and friends in small groups, we still have more to do in the months of May and June. We all need to mask up until the number of cases goes down, until everyone has a chance to get their shot,” he said Wednesday.
“Back on March 11, I outlined a vision of what America could look like by the Fourth of July — an America that was much closer to normal life that we left behind more than a year ago,” he added.
Republicans slammed Biden over his comments, noting that COVID transmission outdoors is low.
“It was advice for an alternate universe. The president and his advisers may need to get out more,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “Americans are already getting together in small groups outdoors in blue states and red states, in small towns and big cities. The country is not locked down waiting for July 4.”
“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?” Sen. John Cornyn tweeted.
Former assistant secretary of health during the Trump administration and now-retired Adm. Brett Giroir said that “by July, we should be almost back to normal with herd immunity, with everybody getting vaccines.”
“I don’t know what reality he’s talking about,” Giroir added Wednesday. “It seemed very disconnected from the reality and where we are and what the science says. Science says small gatherings outdoors is fine.”