Advertisement

Biden hails Virginia Gov. Northam's efforts to lower COVID-19 numbers

1/7
Biden hails Virginia Gov. Northam's efforts to lower COVID-19 numbers
From left to right, first lady Jill Biden, Gov. Ralph Northam, and President Joe Biden visit the Sportrock Climbing Center to recognize the progress Virginia has made in the fight against COVID-19, in Alexandria, Va., on Friday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

May 28 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden applauded Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's efforts in increasing the vaccination rate and bringing down the number of COVID-19 cases in the state during a visit Friday.

Both leaders gave remarks during an appearance at the Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria, Va., to highlight the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in the state.

Advertisement

"I want to thank you for all you're doing to help win the fight against COVID," Biden said. "You're one of the best governors in the country in taking this on, and you did it from the beginning."

According to figures from the Virginia Department of Health, the state has gone from 574 cases reported on March 24 to 21 cases reported on Thursday. On the vaccine front, 54.2% of Virginians have received at least one vaccination shot and 43.7% are fully vaccinated.

RELATED Japan extends COVID-19 state of emergency to June 20

Northam was planning to lift social distancing and indoor capacity restrictions in June, but moved the date up to Friday after the state's case numbers plummeted.

"We are closer to a normal life than we have been in the last 14 months," Northam said.

Advertisement

"We aren't just saving lives; we're getting our lives back. Stores and restaurants up and down Main Street are hanging 'open' signs on their front doors," Biden added.

RELATED California unveils $116M vaccine incentive program

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, warned, though, that the virus could make a resurgence in the country in the fall after dropping off to low levels in the summer.

"I don't think we should declare mission accomplished," Gottlieb told CNBC Friday. "I think that we should declare a near-term victory.

"I think we've done enough to give ourselves an opportunity to enjoy the summer and be at a low risk this summer. However, I do think that this is going to be a risk as we get into the fall and probably more likely the winter," said Gottlieb, who currently sits on the Pfizer board.

RELATED Brooklyn man charged with assault, menacing in anti-Asian hate crimes

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49.9% of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, including 62% of those 18 and older. Forty percent of the population is fully vaccinated, including 50.6% of those 18 and older.

Advertisement

Gottlieb said he believes 75% can be vaccinated by the fall.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement