(CNSNews.com) - President Joe Biden, in his first televised address to the nation as president, set out the "next steps" for managing the coronavirus pandemic, setting a July 4 goal for Americans to gather with their "loved ones," but(!) -- "that doesn't mean large events with lots of people together."
Biden called for "national unity" in following the rules set by health officials:
"Unity is what we do together as fellow Americans, because if we don't stay vigilant and the conditions change, then we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track. And please, we don't want to do that again. We've made so much progress. This is not the time to let up. Just as we were emerging from a dark winter, into a hopeful spring and summer is not the time to not stick with the rules."
Biden promised that all American adults will be "eligible" for vaccination no later than May 1: "Let me be clear, that doesn't mean everyone's going to have that shot immediately, but it means you'll be able to get in line beginning May 1," he said.
Biden said his administration soon will issue further guidance on what you "can and cannot do" once you're fully vaccinated. And then he set the July 4 goal:
I need you to get vaccinated when it's your turn and when you can find an opportunity and to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well. Because here's the point. If we do all this, if we do our part, we do this together, by July the 4th, there's a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day.
That doesn't mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together. After this long, hard year that will make this Independence Day something truly special where we not only mark our independence as a nation, but we began to mark our independence from this virus. But to get there, we can't let our guard down. This fight is far from order--from over. As I told the woman in Pennsylvania, I'll tell you the truth.
On July 4th with your loved ones is the goal. But a goal---a lot can happen. Conditions can change. The scientists have made clear that things may get worse again as new variants of the virus spread. We've got work to do to ensure that everyone has confidence and the safety and effectiveness of all three vaccines.
'Listen to Dr. Fauci'
"So my message to you is this," Biden continued:
Listen to Dr. Fauci, one of the most distinguished and trusted voices in the world. He's assured us the vaccines are safe. They underwent rigorous scientific review. I know they're safe. Vice President Harris--Harris and I know they're safe. That's why we got the vaccine publicly in front of cameras so--for the world to see so you get to see us do it. The first lady and the second gentleman also got vaccinated.
Talk to your family, friends, your neighbors, the people you know best who have gotten the vaccine. We need everyone to get vaccinated. We need everyone to keep washing their hands, stay socially distanced, and keep wearing the mask as recommended by the CDC, because even if we devote every resource we have, beating this virus and getting back to normal depends on national unity.
Biden recounted all the losses over the past year -- people dying, businesses failing, time lost with friends and relatives, jobs lost, schools closed and children stuck at home.
"And there's something else we lost. We lost faith in whether our government and our democracy can deliver on really hard things for the American people," Biden said, not crediting the Trump administration with delivering the life-saving vaccines in record time. Instead, Biden credited "science."
"The development, manufacture, distribution of vaccines in record time is a true miracle of science," Biden said. "It's one of the most extraordinary achievements any country has ever accomplished."
Biden hailed passage of the Democrats' $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, mentioning that it will provide checks of $5,600 for "a typical family of four earning about $110,000."
"In the coming weeks and months, I'll be traveling, along with the first lady, the vice president, the second gentleman, and members of my Cabinet to speak directly to you, to tell you the truth about how the American Rescue Plan meets the moment. And if it fails in any place, I will acknowledge that it failed, but it will not," Biden promised.
"If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon, our economy will be on the mend, our kids will be back in school, and we'll have proven once again that this country can do anything, hard things, big things, important things."
The Democrats' bloated "rescue" plan passed without a single Republican vote. Republicans didn't mind sending relief to families and businesses, but they did object to all the pork projects added into the bill, making it way more expensive than it needed to be.
Despite shutting Republicans out of the fifth "rescue" plan by refusing to negotiate, Biden ended his speech with a familiar plea for unity:
"My fervent prayer for our country is that, after all we've been through, we'll come together as one people, one nation, one America. I believe we can and we will. We're seizing this moment in history, I believe, will record we faced and overcame one of the toughest and darkest periods in this nation's history, the darkest we've ever known.
"I promise you we'll come out stronger with a renewed faith in ourselves, a renewed commitment to one another, to our communities and to our country. This is the United States of America, and there's nothing, nothing, from the bottom of my heart I believe this, there's nothing we can't do when we do it together."