Hours after signing a massive coronavirus relief bill into law, President Joe Biden commemorated the anniversary of the nation’s shutdown over the pandemic Thursday night.
While encouraging the nation to work together and to “get vaccinated when it’s your turn,” Biden also made sure to acknowledge the grief and loss experienced by the entire nation, which has seen some 530,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans — 19% — say they lost a relative or close friend to the coronavirus, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The numbers were considerably higher for Black (30%) and Hispanic (29%) respondents, yet another example of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on minority groups.
“It all has exacted a terrible cost on so many of us,” Biden said. “For we are fundamentally a people who want to be together… but this virus has kept us apart.”
Biden also announced he is ordering all states, territories and tribes to make all adults eligible to “get in line” for their vaccines by May 1, a date he said is much sooner than anticipated.
Also in the news:
►Starting April 1, domestic travelers to New York will no longer be required to quarantine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday, though the state still recommends it as “an added precaution.”
►The U.S. is once again reporting less than one COVID-19 death per minute, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. The…