On Tuesday, President Joe Biden of the United States paid tribute to the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr., former American presidents, victims of COVID-19, and those who fought for the nation’s freedom.
During his address at the White House, where he celebrated the 245th Independence Day anniversary with military families, Biden also acknowledged the contributions of Thomas Jefferson, whose words on liberty and equality had a profound impact on the world.
He remarked, “And across the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Memorial, there stands Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—his arms crossed, his eyes fixed ahead toward the promised land where equality is not only an aspiration but a reality.”
Reflecting on the progress made in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the American leader stated, “Two hundred forty-five years ago, we declared our independence from a distant king, but today, we are closer than ever to declare our independence from a deadly virus. That’s not to say the battle against COVID-19 is over. We have a lot more work to do.”
Biden emphasized that the Declaration of Independence in 1776 served as a call to action rather than a reason for complacency, but the same holds true today. He noted, “Back then, we had the power of an idea. Today, we have the power of science.”
Acknowledging the success of the vaccination efforts, the president stated, “Thanks to our heroic vaccine effort, we have gained the upper hand against this virus. We can resume our normal lives, our children can return to school, and our economy rebounds.”
However, Biden cautioned that COVID-19 had yet to be ultimately defeated, as new and powerful variants such as the Delta variant have emerged. He urged those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so, emphasizing the importance of vaccination for personal well-being, the safety of loved ones, the community, and the nation.