U.S. President Joe Biden used National Independence Day on Sunday to celebrate progress in the fight against the corona pandemic. A thousand people were invited to a ceremony in the garden of the White House.
Since Biden took office, this was the biggest event at the White House, reports The New York Times.
The president compared the July 4, 1776, Declaration of Independence to progress against the coronavirus. “245 years ago, we proclaimed our independence from a distant king. Today we are closer than ever to declare our independence from a deadly virus.”
“This July 4 is a special celebration as we rise from a year of pandemic and isolation. A year of pain, fear and heartbreaking loss,” the president said at a special ceremony at the White House. “We never want to be where we were last year,” Biden said. More than 600,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. “The virus is no longer paralyzing our country, and it’s up to us to make sure it never does again,” the president said. In his speech, Biden called vaccination “the most patriotic thing to do”.
A year earlier, almost all Independence Day celebrations were cancelled due to the pandemic. This year considerably more was possible. In the morning, the annual parade in the capital Washington D.C. was allowed to continue, and in the evening, revellers went to the White House. Aid workers were invited to the party at the presidential residence. Additional security had been relaxed outside the grounds since the storming of the Capitol, and a large audience at the White House gates could watch the party.
After Biden’s speech, a 17-minute fireworks display took place. There was also a big fireworks show in New York. During the day, fifty technicians were busy loading more than 65,000 pieces of fireworks onto five separate boats.