‘We’re not at the finish line’: Biden offers a warning as he moves up the timeline for vaccine eligibility

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On Tuesday, President Joe Biden urged Americans to maintain measures aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, as he advanced the timeline of when all adults in the U.S. “The virus is spreading because we have too many people who, seeing the end in sight, think we are already at the finish line, “Biden said in a short speech at the White House. “Let me be very serious with you: we are not at the finish line.”

The president warned that new variants of COVID are spreading and that the country “is not even in the middle of vaccinating more than 300 million Americans.” Biden advanced the eligibility schedule after reports Tuesday morning that he would announce in the afternoon that all American adults will be eligible for a vaccine by April 19. The change comes after the president a month ago set May 1 as the target date for that – and then last week he said 90% of adults would be eligible by April 19. “My message today is simple. Many states have already opened up to all adults, but as of April 19, all adults in all states, all adults in this country, are eligible to line up to receive the COVID vaccine, ”he said. Following his comments, Biden responded to a reporter’s question about how some large US companies have criticized Georgia‘s new voting law, saying it is “reassuring to see for-profit businesses and operations are talking.” In response to another question, Biden said that he had not spoken with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell until now in his presidency, adding that the US central bank is independent and that he would not tell officials the Fed what they should or should not do. US stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500 SPX, -0.10% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.29% closed at records.