President Joe Biden has said he is hopeful that America can “mark independence” from Covid-19 on 4 July if people get vaccinated. In his first primetime address as president, Mr Biden said he would order states to make all adults eligible for vaccinations by 1 May.
Current measures prioritise people by age or health condition. Mr Biden was speaking exactly a year to the day after the outbreak was classified a global pandemic. Half a million Americans have since died – more than the death toll from World War One, World War Two, and the Vietnam War combined.
Schools have been closed, businesses shuttered and people kept apart. Last year many Americans were forced to forgo the elaborate parades, fireworks displays and parties that feature in the national holiday on 4 July, which marks independence from Britain.
In his speech, President Biden said he did not expect large events to be able to go ahead, but he hoped small groups could meet again.