US President press conference: Biden doubles vaccination target

Status: 25.03.2021 9:32 p.m.

200 million doses instead of 100 million in the first 100 days of his term in office: US President Biden has doubled his target for the vaccination campaign. He also announced that he would stand for re-election in 2024.

US President Joe Biden has doubled his goal for the ongoing corona vaccination campaign in the United States: 200 million vaccinations are to be given in the first 100 days of his term in office. This is an ambitious but achievable goal, Biden said at his first formal press conference at the White House. “I think we can do it.”

“No other country has come close”

Before taking office on January 20, Biden had promised that at least 100 million vaccinations would be given in his first 100 days as president. The goal was already achieved at the end of last week, after almost 60 days in office.

His new goal should be achieved by around mid-April. “No other country in the world has come close to what we are doing,” said Biden.

After a slow start, the vaccination campaign in the USA quickly picked up speed. According to the CDC health authority, 130 million vaccinations have been given since mid-December – 115 million of them during Biden’s tenure alone. Currently, between two and three million vaccine doses are given every day.

46 million people fully vaccinated

So far, according to the CDC, a good 85 million people in the US have received at least the first dose, 46.3 million are already fully vaccinated. A total of around 330 million people live in the USA. In the United States, the Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer vaccines are used, which use two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is fully effective after just one dose.

Criticism of Trump over migrants

But Biden also addressed the issue of migrants at his first formal press conference, rejecting allegations related to the increasing number of migrants on the US southern border.

Instead, he made allegations against his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden criticized that the Republican had dismantled important parts of the US asylum system, for example with regard to the number of beds for unaccompanied minor migrants. The number of migrants, especially from Central America on the US southern border, is increasing every year around this time – and not because he is a “nice guy”.

The Biden government is under increasing pressure because of the dramatic increase in the number of migrants arriving on the southern border of the United States – especially as more and more unaccompanied minors are among them.

Republicans accuse the Democratic president of sparking a border crisis with his more liberal migration policies. Biden’s government speaks of “challenges” and avoids the term crisis.

Tough attitude towards North Korea and China

In foreign policy, Biden made it clear that he sees the dispute over the North Korean nuclear program as an important problem. The US is ready to try diplomatic channels to denuclearize the communist state, he said. Biden condemned North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test. This was a violation of UN sanctions. He warned that if North Korea allowed the conflict to escalate further, “we will respond accordingly”.

China also called on Biden to comply with international standards and obligations. The US government is not looking for a conflict with Beijing, but there will be “tough competition”, he announced. His government will endeavor to strengthen relations with democratic allies in order to face China as one. China wants to become the most powerful and wealthiest country in the world. “That will not happen in my term of office,” emphasized Biden.

Application for a second term

When asked about a second term, the US president said he expected to run for a second term in the White House in the 2024 election. “The answer is yes, my plan is to run for re-election, that’s my expectation,” said the 78-year-old.

The fact that Biden let more than two months elapse before his first press conference in office was criticized by the US media. CNN reported that Biden had taken more time with it than his 15 immediate predecessors. The Democrat has answered questions from individual journalists on the fringes of appearances many times since he began his term in office on January 20, but has not yet held a full press conference at which reporters can ask him detailed questions.

Vaccination goal doubled: Biden cancels 200 million vaccinations in the first 100 days

Jule K├Ąppel, ARD Washington, March 25, 2021 8:06 p.m.

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