For the national day, Biden celebrates the "return of America"

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Joe Biden welcomes a thousand guests to the White House on Sunday for the American National Day, resolutely placed under the sign of a return to normalcy, even if he still has many challenges to overcome.

On July 4, which commemorates the 1776 Declaration of Independence, the Democratic President invited medical staff, soldiers and other so-called workers to Washington essentials for a barbecue and fireworks.

He will thank them for their sacrifices during the pandemic and celebrate the progress made by the United States, a presidential official said on condition of anonymity.

Thanks to vaccination, Americans are able to come together for this day which traditionally marks the entry of the United States into the summer season, he added.

To find loved ones or get some fresh air, nearly 50 million Americans escaped for this long weekend, barely less than in 2019, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Joe Biden himself indulged in a walkabout in Michigan on Saturday and golf on Sunday morning.

Joe Biden.

President Joe Biden was visiting Michigan on Saturday.

Photo: AP / Alex Brandon

These celebrations, all in all fairly classic, have a special flavor this year, as the United States has come a long way.

A year ago, pandemic requires, Joe Biden was campaigning for the presidential election by video, from his basement. Across the United States, parades and marching bands had been reduced to the bare minimum.

The country was also crossed by giant demonstrations against racism, sparked by the death of African-American George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Blowing on the embers, President Donald Trump lashed out to agitators and looters in a speech of <q data-attributes = '{"lang": {"value": "fr", "label": "Français"}, "value": {"html": "4th of July"," text ":" 4th of July "}} '>4th of July which had set the tone for a particularly acrimonious campaign.

One year later, we have a lot of things to celebratePresidential COVID-19 Coordinator Jeff Zients said on ABC Sunday: two-thirds of adults have received at least a first dose of the vaccine and <q data-attributes = '{"lang": {"value": "fr", "label": "Français"}, "value": {"html": "about 80% of people over 65years are fully vaccinated "," text ":" about 80% of people over 65 are fully vaccinated "}} '>about 80% of people over 65 are fully vaccinated.

With more than 33 million cases and 600,000 deaths, the United States has paid the heaviest price, but the vaccination campaign has effectively brought the number of hospitalizations and deaths down in recent months.

The reluctance of the youngest, the conservatives and part of the black minority in the face of vaccines, however, prevent definitively turning the page.

Symbolically, they defeated Joe Biden's target for July 4, namely a first dose administered to 70% of the adult population.

COVID cases are no longer declining

More seriously, the number of new cases of COVID-19 has not decreased since mid-June, when the Delta variant, very contagious, represents 35% of cases. We are worried we are seeing spikes in infections in areas with low vaccination rates, admitted Mr. Zients.

On the economic front too, the White House is showing its satisfaction, supported by good employment figures in June and optimistic growth forecasts for 2021.

Our economy is making historic progress, coming out of the worst crisis in a hundred years, assured Friday Joe Biden, for whom these indicators are a direct consequence of its gigantic 2 trillion dollar stimulus package.

But then again, there are shadows on the picture: there is still 6.8 million jobs missing compared to February 2020, and black and Hispanic minorities remain more affected by unemployment.

Infrastructures, the passage of the Congress

Joe Biden hopes that the adoption of another pharaonic plan – to modernize infrastructure – boost employment a little more. Despite the announcement of an agreement in principle with Republicans for a budget of 1.2 trillion dollars, its adoption in Congress remains uncertain, however.

Because since the start of his mandate, the president has struggled with an intransigent opposition, spurred on by a Donald Trump who is still very influential. Despite his unifying image and his willingness to find compromises, Joe Biden has not succeeded in pushing through sweeping reforms on the right to vote, the police or immigration.

Regardless, Sunday is party time. America is back, tweeted the president, resolutely optimistic: We are entering a summer of joy and freedom.

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