Biden gets Covid-19 booster live on air, says US will have a ‘problem’ until 98% of Americans are vaccinated

US President Joe Biden had his third dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine administered live before the White House press corps, insisting the ‘unvaccinated’ were a problem for America and urging everyone to get their shots.

Biden was injected on Monday at a televised event inside the Eisenhower Executive Office building, telling the reporters he was doing so because the regulators had declared the Pfizer-made boosters “safe and effective.”

A CNN reporter pointed out that Monday’s booster event was historic – the first time a sitting president was getting the coronavirus vaccine on camera. While Biden took both of his original doses on camera, that was before he was sworn in. His predecessor Donald Trump, who recovered from Covid-19 in October 2020, was reportedly vaccinated before he left the White House, but not publicly.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the boosters last week, but rejected the White House’s call to apply them to the general adult population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) went a step further, expanding the booster advisory to “those in high risk occupational and institutional settings” on Thursday.

Biden doubled down on calling the current situation with the coronavirus in the US “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and repeated a joke he made on Friday about being over 65 and therefore needing a booster shot.

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“Please, please do the right thing. Please get the shot,” he said at the event. “It can save your life. It can save the lives of those around you. And it's easy, accessible, and it's free.”

Asked how many Americans needed to be vaccinated, he said maybe 98%. “But I'm not the scientist. I think one thing is for certain. A quarter of the country can't go unvaccinated and us not continue to have a problem,” he added.

“About 23% haven't gotten any shots, and that distinct minority is causing an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country,” he said.

While some praised Biden for answering questions “all the way through” and not flinching at the needle, others pointed out that he refused to answer questions about the border crisis.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, around 12,000 migrants from Haiti who had come across the US-Mexico border illegally have been released inside the country, though their makeshift camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas has been dismantled.

Biden took office vowing to “shut down the virus” and pushing for mask mandates and vaccinations. Earlier this month, he announced a rule that would impose a de facto vaccine mandate for all US companies with 100 or more employees, declaring that “our patience is wearing thin” and the “unvaccinated” were endangering the rest of America. The rule has yet to go into effect, however.

More than 688,000 deaths in the US have been attributed to the virus since the first case was detected in January 2020. Of those, 288,000 have been during Biden’s term in office.

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