CINCINNATI (Reuters) -President Joe Biden pleaded with skeptical Americans on Wednesday to get vaccinated, as rising COVID-19 cases threaten to undermine progress against the pandemic and slow the country’s economic rebound.
“Look, it’s real simple. We have a pandemic for those who haven’t gotten a vaccination. It’s that basic, that simple,” Biden said at a town-hall event in Ohio broadcast on CNN.
“Ten thousand people have recently died. Nine thousand nine hundred and fifty of them, thereabouts, are people who hadn’t been vaccinated,” he said.
White House officials said the event, in a part of Cincinnati that voted strongly for Republican former President Donald Trump last November, would give Biden, a Democrat, a chance to reflect on his first six months in office and appeal directly to Americans to get vaccinated.
Swiftly rising coronavirus cases across the United States and abroad have fueled fears of a resurgent pandemic and rattled stock markets as the highly contagious Delta variant appears to be taking hold.
Many of the new U.S. outbreaks are in parts of the country where COVID-19 vaccinations have lagged. The White House’s vaccination efforts have stalled amid waves of disinformation and skepticism.
Biden expressed optimism that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may approve a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 as soon as the end of August, ahead of previous estimates.
“My expectation talking to the group of scientists we put together … is that sometime maybe in the beginning of the school year, at the end of August, beginning of September, October, they’ll get a final approval,” Biden said…