President Joe Biden hosted a July Fourth event at the White House to celebrate the nation’s achievements in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic while commemorating the lives they lost to it.
Some 1,000 essential workers and military families were hosted by the president and first lady Jill Biden on the South Lawn of the White House on July Fourth for a barbecue to celebrate the holiday weekend.
Biden told those in attendance that while they celebrate the nation’s independence from Britain achieved more than two centuries ago, they are also celebrating their near-independence from the pandemic.
“Two-hundred and forty-five years ago we declared our independence from a distant king. Today, we are closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus,” he said. “That’s not to say the battle against COVID-19 is over. We’ve got a lot more work to do.”
He asked those there to look back on where they were a year ago and think about how far the nation has come — from silent streets to crowded parade routes, from families separated to joyous reunions.
“This year, the Fourth of July is a day of special celebration for we are emerging from the darkness of years — a year of pandemic and isolation. A year of pain, fear and heartbreaking loss,” Biden said.
He contrasted the nation’s purging of jobs and a smoldering economy under the weight of the pandemic last year to the recent growth both have experienced recently that he said “was the best in four decades.”
“Today, all across this nation, we can say with confidence, America is coming back together,” he said.
He continued comparing the United States’ fight for independence to its fight against COVID-19, stating that while the country’s Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a call to action and not a claim of victory or a reason for complacency, the same is true today.
“Back then, we had the power of an idea by our side,” he said. “Today, we have the power of science.”
The vaccine, he said, has given the United States the upper hand against the virus, but they haven’t vanquished it with the best defense they have being Americans inoculated against COVID-19.
“My fellow Americans, it’s the most patriotic thing you can do,” he said. “So please, if you haven’t gotten vaccinated, do it, do it now. For yourself, for your loved ones, for your community, and for your country.”