Biden to direct states to make all adults eligible for vaccine by May 1

Jeff Mason and Jarrett Renshaw
·1 min read
U.S. President Biden hosts White House event on effort to produce more coronavirus vaccine in Washington

By Jeff Mason and Jarrett Renshaw

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden will direct states to make all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by May 1 and use his first primetime address to say he expects life to return closer to normal by the Fourth of July holiday, according to two senior White House officials.

In a speech on Thursday night marking the anniversary of the coronavirus lockdown, Biden will offer both hope and warnings, the officials said.

Families and friends will be able to gather for barbecues to celebrate the July 4 Independence Day holiday but only if they continue to adhere to health guidelines and take advantage of a growing vaccine supply.

"The president will talk about small gatherings like a barbecue in your backyard, in your neighborhood. He will be clear that does not mean large events where lots of people gather, but it does mean that we can once again have an Independence Day, small gatherings and celebrations. And that's a big step in the right direction," a senior aide said.

Biden will order states to eliminate the current rules surrounding vaccine eligibility that prioritize different groups, underscoring the administration's confidence that there will be enough vaccine for everyone.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Jeff Mason; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)