By Alexandra Jaffe and Aamer Madani | The Associated Press
Cincinnati, Ohio – President Joe Biden on Wednesday expressed dismay at the slow COVID-19 vaccination rate in the US and urged that it is “hugely important” for Americans to step up and get vaccinated for the virus as it once again grows.
Biden, speaking at a televised town hall in Cincinnati, said the public health crisis had largely turned into the plight of the uneducated as the spread of the Delta variant increased infections nationwide.
“We have a pandemic for people who haven’t vaccinated — it’s so basic, so simple,” he said at the CNN town hall.
The President also expressed hope that children under 12 years of age would be approved for vaccination in the coming months. But he displayed displeasure that so many deserving Americans are still reluctant to get a shot.
“If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to go to the IC unit, and you’re not going to die,” Biden said onstage at Mount St. “So it’s very important that … we all act like Americans who care about our fellow Americans.”
US hospitalizations and deaths are almost all among those uninsured. But cases of COVID-19 have nearly tripled in the US in two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is exhausting hospitals, doctors and pushing pastors into the fray .
Across the US, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, down from 13,700 on July 6, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Health officials blame the delta version and slow vaccination rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 56.2% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The president noted that the increase has become so severe that even his critics are pushing against vaccine disinfection.
Biden made an indirect reference to high-profile conservative personalities at Fox News who had “an altar call” and are now speaking openly to their skeptical guests about the benefits of vaccination. Sean Hannity recently told viewers, “I believe in the science of vaccination” and urged them to take the disease seriously. Steve Ducey, who co-hosts “Fox and Friends,” told viewers this week that the vaccination “will save your life.”
Biden, who traveled to Ohio as he tried to raise support for his economic agenda, visited a union training center next to the town hall.
The visit comes as the fate of his infrastructure proposal remains unclear after Senate Republicans rejected a $1 trillion blueprint in a major test vote on Wednesday. A bipartisan group of 22 senators said in a joint statement after the vote that they were close to coming to an agreement and requested a delay until Monday.
Biden expressed confidence in the result, saying, “It’s a good thing and I think we’re going to get it.”
While lawmakers disputed the details of that proposal on Capitol Hill, Biden made the case that his nearly $4 trillion package was needed to rebuild the middle class and sustain economic growth in the country during the first six months of his presidency. Needed.
First, Biden visited the IBEW/NECA Electrical Training Center west of Cincinnati. He got the chance to learn about skilled, well-paying union jobs by watching apprentices working their way through a five-year apprenticeship, which he says will be in more demand if his plan comes to fruition.
“There’s a reason union workers are the best trained,” Biden said, when he met with trainees going through five-year training programs.
It was his third visit to the state – one he lost by nearly 8 points in 2020, but one that is crucial to the political future of the Democratic Party and a crucial test of whether Biden’s economic proposals will have a wider White House. There is an appeal.
With presidential visits to the Ohio cities of Columbus, Cleveland and now Cincinnati, the White House is betting that Biden’s policies are popular with independent voters and that voters will reward a president and party that tries to solve their problems. are.
The state faces a heated Senate election next year with the retirement of Republican Rob Portman, who helped negotiate an infrastructure plan that now faces an uncertain future in an equally divided Senate.
The president’s visit took him near the dangerously old Brent Spence Bridge—a chokepoint for trucks and emergency vehicles between Ohio and Kentucky that the previous two presidents had promised without success to replace.
Biden made a reference to the structure, telling town hall attendees that it was time to “fix that damn bridge of yours.”
Back in Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday dismissed two Republicans chosen by House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on the committee investigating the January 6 Capitol uprising. McCarthy said the GOP would not participate in the investigation if Democrats did not accept the members he had appointed.
CNN moderator Don Lemon asked how Biden can be confident that Republicans and Democrats can get together on anything when they can’t settle on an investigation into the most brazen attack on the US Capitol in 200 years.
Biden simply replied, “These guys,” a gesture to the stage audience and the enormous faith they have in Americans. But it seemed Biden also acknowledged that the partisan rift in Washington had gone insane.
“I don’t care if you think I’m the reincarnation of Satan,” Biden said. “The fact is you can’t look at that television and say nothing happened on the 6th and listen to people who say it was a peaceful march.”