(CNN) — President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden shared their good wishes with Americans who celebrated Easter on Sunday and encouraged them to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a moral obligation.
“We share the feelings of Pope Francis, who said that getting vaccinated is a moral obligation, one that can save your life and the lives of others,” said the US president in a video posted on his Twitter account. “By getting vaccinated and encouraging your congregations and communities to get vaccinated, we can not only defeat this virus, we can also hasten the day when we can celebrate the holidays together.”
The first lady said there is “hope all around us” and mentioned that families receive financial help, businesses recover and an increase in the number of Americans receiving vaccines against the virus.
The Bidens’ message comes as health officials rush to vaccinate as many Americans as possible amid concerns about a possible fourth wave of coronavirus infections. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Saturday that more than 4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered in 24 hours, setting a new record. and raising the seven-day average to more than 3 million per day.
Across the country, about 165 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, according to data released Sunday by the agency. About 32% of the population (106 million people) have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 18.5% of the population (about 61 million people) have received the full vaccination. Data released by the CDC may be delayed and doses may not have been delivered on the reported day.
Biden, the Catholic
Biden is the second Catholic president in American history, and Sunday Mass is expected to be a regular part of his itinerary. That’s a level of devotion to regular religious services not seen by recent presidents, who were professing Christians but attended church intermittently or privately worshiped while in office.
The president, who is spending the holidays at Camp David with his family, expressed his sympathy with the families who do not celebrate in unity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The virus is not gone and many of us still feel the longing and loneliness of the distance,” Biden said. “For the second year, most of the people will be separated from their families, friends, and congregations that fill us with joy. However, as the Gospel of John reminds us, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not conquered.
Kamala Harris’s message
Vice President Kamala Harris also released a video wishing the country a happy Easter, saying that “there is always reason for hope.”
“Today, we are celebrating hope and our faith in renewal. Hope in the number of people now vaccinated, now safer against this virus, “said Harris. Hope in children returning to school for the first time in a year. Hope in grandparents who can hug their grandchildren for the first time in a year. Hope for a better tomorrow for all.
He added that Biden and the first lady are eager to resume next year the annual Easter event at the White House, which was once again canceled due to the pandemic.
CNN’s Chandelis Duster, Madeline Holcombe, Ray Sanchez, and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism