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WASHINGTON —  President Biden wants the states to make all adult Americans eligible for coronavirus vaccinations by May 1st.

“Let me be clear, that doesn’t mean everyone is going to have that shot immediately,” said Biden. “But it does mean you’ll be able to get in line beginning May 1. Every adult will be eligible to get their shot.”

Speaking to the nation from the White House, Biden stressed that his administration’s vaccination plan is way ahead of schedule.  He said the U.S. will reach his goal of 100 million doses in his first 60 days in office, instead of his first 100-days.

Biden urged all Americans to “get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”  He said he is hopeful that Americans can safely gather in small groups to celebrate the July 4th holiday.

The President also urged continued use of facemasks and safe social distancing.  He argued that this is not the time to relax and warned against backsliding, saying it could lead to a reimposition of widespread COVID restrictions.

Biden said he is optimistic that the U.S. can overcome one of the darkest periods in its history. It was his first primetime address as President.

“A year ago we were hit by the virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked, denials for days, weeks, then months, and that led to more deaths,” Biden said of the anniversary of the coronavirus being named a global pandemic.

The pandemic has claimed more than 525,000 lives in the U.S.  Biden noted the deep the economic impacts and talked about the many children who have essentially lost a year of schooling.  Biden argued that the only way for America to return to normal is to “beat the virus.”

He also condemned acts of hatred and violence against Asian Americans.  Biden said it’s wrong, un-American and “must stop.”

“So many of them are fellow Americans. They’re on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives,” said the president. “And still, still, they’re forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America.”

He said they’ve been “attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated” during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the address behind him, President Biden will meet today with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan.

The White House says the virtual meeting between Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will lay the groundwork for an in-person meeting later this year.

The leaders are expected to discuss ways to fight the coronavirus, cooperation on economic growth, and climate change.