Biden visits a climbing gym to celebrate the end of virus restrictions in Virginia

President Biden visited a climbing center in Alexandria, Va., on Friday to celebrate the state’s lifting of coronavirus restrictions and mark the progress the entire country has made in battling the pandemic.

“Fans are returning to minor league ballparks, swimming pools and parks are opening across the state,” Biden said in remarks to Sportrock climbing centers. “Families flock to spend Memorial Day weekend in Virginia Beach, and across the country, we have gone from the pain and stagnation of a long, dark winter to a bustling economy that is growing faster than ‘She hasn’t done it for almost 40 years.’

Biden watched climbers scaling rock faces and chatted with some of the ground observers before delivering remarks alongside Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

Effective Friday, Virginia lifted all capacity limits and social distancing requirements for businesses, restaurants, event spaces and other venues in the state. This is the first time since March 2020 that the Commonwealth has not put in place some type of restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We are closer to a more normal life than we have been in the last 14 months,” Northam said before Biden spoke.

Virginia on Friday became the latest state to lift coronavirus restrictions as cases drop dramatically from January’s peaks. Biden noted that the state recorded about 43,000 coronavirus cases the week before he took office, up from just under 3,000 last week.

The president has set a goal for 70% of adults to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. The White House announced earlier this week that half of all American adults are fully vaccinated against the virus. More than 60% received at least one injection.

Biden praised the American people for doing their part to get vaccinated and urged him to help reach those who might be vaccine-hesitant or hard to reach.

He pointed to the rapid distribution and administration of vaccines as “the first real proof … that the American people are more ready to come together, I believe, than Congress and elected officials are. But we are getting there. »

Virginia F. Goins