SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Joe Biden
The United States has officially reached a goal set in the early days of the Biden administration. "Folks, we've officially reached our goal of 70% of adults receiving at least one dose of the vaccine," President Joe Biden announced on Twitter Monday.
Biden, 78, continued: "It's incredible progress, but we still have further to go. If you haven't already, get vaccinated. Let's defeat this virus once and for all."
Folks, we’ve officially reached our goal of 70% of adults receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. It’s incredible progress, but we still have further to go. If you haven’t already, get vaccinated. Let’s defeat this virus once and for all.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 2, 2021
The administration announced the 70% target back in May, with the president saying at the time, "I'd like to get it 100%, but I think realistically we can get to that place between now and July Fourth."
In the months since, demand for the shots has waned, with vaccination efforts being met with a political divide throughout the U.S.
Areas of the country that supported former President Trump now show the lowest rates of vaccination and higher rates of hospitalization and deaths from the virus. In recent weeks, Republicans and Democrats alike have urged people to get vaccinated.
Last week, Biden called the current uptick of COVID-19 cases "an American tragedy," calling on Americans to get vaccinated and announcing that the country's four million federal employees must get their shots or be forced to submit to regular testing and adhere to strict protocols such as wearing a mask and socially-distancing.
Under the new rules, the nation's federal employees will be required to attest to their vaccination status. If unvaccinated (or if they choose not to attest to their status), they will be required to wear a mask — even if they live in a region without high or subsequent substantial spread — socially distance, and be regularly tested for the virus either weekly or twice weekly. Those who are not vaccinated will also be subject to restrictions on most travel.
The highly contagious Delta variant is currently sweeping across the country, particularly impacting areas where vaccination rates are low. "It's highly transmissible and it's causing a new wave of cases in those who are not vaccinated," Biden said.
Acknowledging the partisan divide in vaccinations, Biden said, "This is not about red states or blue states. It's about life and death."