WASHINGTON, June 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — President Joe Biden has announced June to be a “month of action” to get “70 percent of American adults vaccinated … so we can declare our independence from COVID-19.”
The president delivered his remarks during a June 3 speech at the White House, promising American citizens “a summer of freedom, a summer of joys, a summer of get-togethers and celebrations,” if only a critical mass of “at least 70 percent of adult Americans [take] at least one shot” before July 4, Independence Day.
“It’s going to take everyone: the federal government, the state governments and local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector and, most importantly, the American people to get to this 70 percent mark so we can declare independence from COVID-19,” Biden announced.
“That’s why today we’re announcing a month-long effort to pull out all the stops to free ourselves from this virus,” Biden announced before encouraging “every American over 12 years of age, no matter where you live, what you believe, who you voted for,” that they have “the right to get vaccinated.”
Although touting the liberty Americans have to choose the vaccine freely, the president made clear his preference that citizens use this liberty in a specific way. “It’s your choice. So please, exercise your freedom. Live without fear. We need to be one America, united, free from fear this fall … we especially need people under 40 to step up … so we can declare independence from COVID-19.”
Driving the “wartime effort” is a host of new incentives, designed to encourage those who are currently hesitant about receiving a COVID vaccine to put their fears aside and take the jab.
Parents will be given free childcare in order to facilitate attending a vaccine clinic, in partnership with over 500 YMCAs and Bright Horizons day-care centers.
Additionally, the brewing giant behind Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch, has announced that it “will buy America’s next round of beer, seltzer, non-alcoholic beverage or other A-B product,” providing the free beverages to over 21s if Biden meets the 70 percent quota, CEO Michel Doukeris said.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we are committed to supporting the safe and strong recovery of our nation and being able to be together again at the places and with the people we have missed so much. This commitment includes encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, and we are excited to buy Americans 21+ a round of beer when we reach the White House goal,” he added.
Obtaining the shot is to be made easier and more accessible than it already is, Biden announced. Not only will companies be handed tax credits to give their staff time off to get a jab, but “thousands of pharmacies” across the U.S. are opening for 24 hours on Fridays to give people every opportunity to drop in for a vaccine. CVS, in addition to being open at later hours, is entering vaccine recipients into a prize draw where they can win cash, cruise tickets, and Super Bowl and Major League Baseball tickets, simply for taking at least one COVID vaccine shot during the month of June.
The drive, however, may not be having the desired effect, with the rate of vaccination dropping significantly from its peak in April. According to a report in the Washington Post, April saw as many as 3.2 million people receiving either their first or second jab in a single day, but now that number has slowed precipitously to around 500,000 per day.
Every U.S. state is reportedly down at least two thirds from its peak, with a particularly prominent drop in southern and midwestern states, all of which makes Biden’s July 4 vaccination goal less likely to come to fruition, regardless of the freebies.
Frustrated with slow take-up of the vaccine, state governors, too, have taken to incentivizing COVID vaccines, devising high-value prizes and other giveaways.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine offered citizens in Ohio the chance to be entered into a weekly lottery worth a staggering $1 million after lamenting the roughly 67 percent of Ohioans who hadn’t been fully vaccinated by mid-May.
Prior to DeWine’s announcement, Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) promised “a $100 savings bond to every single one [aged 16 to 35] that steps up and takes the vaccine.” The effort to encourage widespread uptake of the jab is aimed mostly towards the young in West Virginia, a demographic that Justice decried as not taking the shot “as fast as we’d like them to take them … we’ve got to do something about this.”
In like manner, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) offered New Yorkers a free lottery ticket (usually worth $20) with a $5 million jackpot in exchange for presenting themselves for a COVID jab between May 24 and 28. “If you were undecided or dubious about getting a vaccine, now you have an added bonus. Don’t miss this chance,” Cuomo said, according to an ABC News report.
Though the list of incentives offered in states nationwide grows, the FDA clearly stipulates against coercion, stating that each vaccine is “an investigational vaccine not licensed for any indication,” and the agency requires that all “promotional material relating to the COVID-19 Vaccine clearly and conspicuously … state that this product has not been approved or licensed by the FDA, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA.”
On account of this, federal law states that “to protect public health,” all manufacturers of products authorized for emergency use are required to provide “[a]ppropriate conditions designed to ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered are informed … of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product, of the consequences, if any, of refusing administration of the product, and of the alternatives to the product that are available and of their benefits and risks.”