As the U.S. is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases with the spread of delta variant, President Joe Biden pleaded that it's "gigantically important" for Americans to step up and get inoculated for the virus. While doing a CNN "town hall" event in Ohio, he called for new â apolitical â messengers, including scientists, athletes and members of clergy, to help push people to get the vaccine.
'Listen to the Scientists'
Biden wants the country's scientists to come forward and act as messengers in a bid to boost the vaccination drive. "What we're doing is, number one, to restore America's faith in science, is listen to the scientists," Biden said on Wednesday.
"I'm not joking. I mean literally listen to the scientists and not interfere. Not rush anything. Just let the scientists proceed because they desperately want to get this right," he said. He told prolific misinformation and conspiracy theories are making it hard to get things done and slowing down vaccinations.
He informed that we have a pandemic for those who haven't gotten the vaccination.
"If you're vaccinated, you're not going to be hospitalized. You're not going to be in an ICU unit. And you are not going to die," Biden explained. He also discussed vaccine hesitancy and urged people to ask "legitimate questions" so that they can then get answers.
New Messengers Needed for Enhancing Vaccination Campaign
Biden also emphasized on the importance of getting the support of "people of consequence" in specific communities in order to encourage people to get vaccinated, reported USA Today.
"What we're getting is people of consequence, respected in the community, whether they're athletes, whether or not they're entertainers, whether they're just well respected," he added.
African-American Showing the Way
One influential group helping encourage its community to get vaccinated is African-American churches, according to Biden.
"I have overwhelming support from the African American clergy," he said. "They are opening up their churches for vaccination centers."
Vaccination Rate Slowing Significantly
Almost all U.S. hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated. However, COVID-19 cases nearly tripled in the United States over the past two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray, according to AP news agency.
Health officials blame the Delta variant and slowing vaccination rates. More than 68% of adult Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the rate of vaccination has slowed significantly over the past month.
Young adults aged 18-24 have the lowest vaccination rate and are the most likely to report they're unsure of getting vaccinated, according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. While vaccinations have slowed, COVID cases have surging. The seven-day average for daily new cases increased over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 cases on Tuesday.