Biden

President Joe Biden. (Photo submitted)

WASHINGTON (AP) — One year after the nation was brought to a near-standstill by the coronavirus, President Joe Biden used his first prime-time address to outline his plan Thursday night to make all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1 and get the country “closer to normal” by the Fourth of July. He offered Americans fresh hope and appealed anew for their help.

Speaking in the White House East Room, Biden announced moves to speed vaccinations, including directing that states lift qualifications for vaccinations by May 1, and expand the number of places and categories of people who can give shots. His aim: let Americans gather at least in small groups for the Independence Day holiday.

Biden was marking one year since the onset of the pandemic that has killed more than 530,000 Americans and disrupted the lives of countless more.

“While it was different for everyone, we all lost something," Biden said, calling the past year “a collective suffering, a collective sacrifice.”

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