Biden touts incentives, pleads with Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19

President Biden on Wednesday exhorted Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they haven’t yet, announcing an aggressive campaign to reach his goal of having 70 percent of adults with at least one shot by July 4.

During a speech at the White House, Biden highlighted the benefits of being fully vaccinated and also warned about the consequences if the country’s numbers don’t improve.

“The bottom line is this: I promise you they are safe. They are safe,” Biden said. “And even more importantly, they’re extremely effective. If you’re vaccinated, you are protected.”

Biden declared June a “national month of action” to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.

Big picture: Biden last month set a goal to administer at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine to 70 percent of U.S. adults by Independence Day. But we’re not there yet, and enthusiasm for getting vaccinated has waned considerably. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 63 percent of adults, but only 52 percent of the entire U.S. population, has received at least one dose.

Biden on Wednesday said 12 states have already reached the 70 percent mark, and more are expected to get there this week.

What’s happening: To speed the effort along, the White House is offering a range of incentives, including free child care. Until July Fourth, KinderCare and Learning Care Group locations across the country will offer free, drop-in appointments. More than 500 YMCAs in nearly every state will offer drop-in care during vaccination appointments, and Bright Horizons will also provide free care to more than 10 million employees it partners with.