President of the United States (US) Joe Biden on Thursday (15/10) said that his country is now heading “in the right direction” in controlling the corona virus pandemic. At the same time, Biden steadfastly defended the vaccination mandate that he imposed on US citizens.
About 66 million Americans are still unvaccinated to this day. That’s down from about 100 million last July, Biden said at the White House.
“We’re headed in the right direction,” Biden said, “but we can’t give up now. Let’s vaccinate because with that we can beat this pandemic.”
Across America, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths has decreased. Last week, the average daily number of cases stood at 86,000, down 15,000 from the previous week.
Johns Hopkins University said the number of Americans dying had fallen by 200 a day compared to the previous period in the latest COVID-19 spike. However, the death rate is still in the range of 1,500 people every day.
Many Republicans are opposed to the vaccine mandate imposed by president Biden, who is from the Democratic Party. Among the opponents are two politicians who may be Biden’s rivals in the 2024 presidential election. They are Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
According to them, the vaccination mandate is a violation of people’s freedom to make health care decisions for themselves.
But Biden stood by his decision because he said “more and more data is showing that this vaccine mandate is working.”
“Let’s be clear,” Biden said, “the vaccine mandate should not be another issue that divides us.”
Biden has ordered all American businesses with 100 employees or more to require their workers to be vaccinated. Otherwise they will have to routinely carry out COVID-19 tests, even though the mandate is only a few weeks away from being enforced.
In addition, Biden has ordered the American armed forces to be vaccinated, along with 2.5 million federal civil servants. However, the order has met with resistance from some members of the military service who have filed lawsuits in an attempt to block the mandate from being enforced for federal employees. (lt/ka)