Good evening, American friends. I’d like to speak with you about where we stand in the fight against COVID-19, what we’ve accomplished, and what we still have to do.

It all starts with understanding: Even the Delta variant 19 [sic]COVID-19 — has been hard hitting this country, but we have the tools and resources to fight the virus, if the country can come together and use those instruments.

We can and will turn the tide against COVID-19 if we increase our vaccination rate, protect ourselves, and others, and identify those who are infected.

It will be hard work and take time. Many of us are frustrated by the 80 million Americans still not vaccinated despite the fact that the vaccine is safe, effective and free.

You might be confused as to what is true and false about COVID-19. Let me first give you some information about where we stand before I go on tonight’s new steps to combat COVID-19.

First, we have cons – we have made substantial progress

in battling COVID-19. About 2 million Americans had been fully vaccinated before I became president. Today, more than 175 million Americans have this protection.

Before I took office we hadn’t ordered enough vaccines for every American. Within weeks of taking office, we had enough vaccine. Over 25,000 Americans died of COVID-19 in the week that preceded my election, January 20th. This grim weekly death toll fell 70% last week.

In the three months prior to my election, our economy was in crisis, creating only 50,000 jobs per month. In the past three months, we’ve created 700,000 jobs per month on average.

This is a real improvement. I must tell you that America is in much better condition than it was seven month ago when I took office.

It’s a difficult stretch and could continue for a while. I warned America about the highly contagious Delta variant back in July. It spread in the late summer, just like it did in other countries.

Although vaccines offer strong protection to those who have been vaccinated, there are still stories that we have seen and heard about of people being hospitalized, people dying on their deathbeds, and other unvaccinated people over the past few days.

This is a pandemic affecting the unvaccinated. It’s a result of the fact that despite America’s successful and unprecedented vaccination program, there are still nearly 80 million Americans who have not received the shot.

To make matters worse, elected officials are actively working to undermine COVID-19. Instead of encouraging people get vaccinated and covering up, they have ordered mobile morgues for those who aren’t vaccinated to die from COVID within their communities. This is absolutely unacceptable.

Third, if all of this seems overwhelming, here’s the math. The vast majority are doing the right things. Nearly three quarters (75%) of eligible people have had at least one shot. However, one quarter have not received any. This means that nearly 80 million Americans are still not vaccinated. This is only 25 percent in a country with a population as large as ours. This 25 percent can do a lot of harm — and they are.

The unvaccinated crowd our hospitals and are taking over the emergency rooms, intensive care units, and other areas. This leaves no room for anyone suffering from a heart attack or any other medical condition. [pancreatitis]Or cancer.

Fourth, I want to stress that vaccines offer very strong protection against severe COVID-19-related illness. I’m aware there is a lot confusion and misinformation. The world’s top scientists have confirmed that you have a very low risk of serious illness from COVID-19 if your vaccines are up to date.

Based on summer data, only one out of every 160,000 Americans with a valid vaccine was admitted for COVID daily.

These are the facts.

Here’s the situation: The path ahead is not nearly so bad as last year, even with the Delta version. It is even more frustrating that, while we have the tools to fight COVID-19 and a small minority of Americans — supported by a small number of elected officials — we are unable to turn the corner. These pandemic politics as I speak of are making people sick and causing deaths among the unvaccinated.

We cannot allow these actions stand in the way protecting the vast majority Americans who have done their part to protect the American people and want to return to normal living.

As your President, I am announcing tonight a plan to require more Americans be vaccinated in order to combat those who block public health.

My plan increases testing, protects the economy, and makes our children safer in schools. It has six broad areas and many specific actions in each. You can find more information at

These measures will take time to fully impact their effects. However, I believe that if we implement them, as the scientists suggest, we can reduce the number unvaccinated Americans, lower hospitalizations, and allow our children to attend school safely. We can also keep our economy strong and our businesses open.

First, we need to increase vaccinations for the unvaccinated by introducing new vaccination requirements. Many of the nearly 80 million eligible Americans still waiting to be vaccinated said that they were awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration — FDA. Last month, the FDA granted this approval.

It is now or never. We made progress this summer through the combination vaccine requirements and incentives as well as FDA approval. In August, four million more people received their first shot than in July.

But we must do much more. This is not about personal freedom. It’s about protecting yourself, your family, and the people around you — the people who work with you, the people that you care about, and the people you love.

As President, my job is to protect all Americans.

Tonight, I’m announcing the Department of Labor’s emergency rule. It requires all employers with more than 100 employees to ensure that their workforces have been fully vaccinated.

This is a requirement for some of the largest companies, such as United Airlines, Disney and Tysons Food.

The bottom line: We are going to protect vaccinated employees from unvaccinated colleagues. We will reduce the spread COVID-19 by increasing vaccination rates in American businesses.

My plan will extend the vaccination requirements I previously issued in healthcare. I’ve already announced that we will require vaccinations for all nurses who treat Medicare and Medicaid patients. This is because I have federal authority.

Tonight, I’m using that same authority to expand that to cover those who work in hospitals, home healthcare facilities, or other medical facilities –- a total of 17 million healthcare workers.

You should be able know if the staff at your health facility are vaccinated before you go to seek treatment. It’s simple. Straightforward. Period.

Next, I will sign an Executive Order that will require all federal employees in the executive branch to be vaccinated. Another executive order has been signed that will require federal contractors do the same.

Get vaccinated if you want to do business with the federal government. You must vaccinate your workforce if you wish to do business with federal government agencies.

Tonight, I am going to remove one of the last obstacles that makes it difficult for you get vaccinated.

Employers with more than 100 workers will be required by the Department of Labor to provide paid time off for those workers who are vaccinated. A person should not lose their job to get vaccinated.

Today, in total, the vaccine requirements in my plan will affect about 100 million Americans –- two thirds of all workers.

For those in other sectors, I appeal to you: If you run large entertainment venues — sports arenas, concert venues, movie theaters — please make sure that people are vaccinated.

And to the nation’s family physicians, pediatricians, GPs — general practitioners –- you’re the most trusted medical voice to your patients. You might be the only person who can convince someone to get vaccinated.

Tonight, I am asking you to reach out and appeal to your unvaccinated patients in the next two weeks. America needs your help in this crucial effort.

Unvaccinated Americans need to know that there is more to come. What more do we need? We have made vaccinations easy, safe, and efficient.

FDA approval is granted for the vaccine. Over 200 million Americans have received at least one shot.

We have been patient, but patience is wearing thin. We are all paying the price for your refusal. Do the right thing. But don’t take my word for it; listen to the voices that unvaccinated Americans are saying as they lay in hospital beds, taking their last breaths. “If only.”

It’s a tragedy. Please don’t allow it to become yours.

My second plan involves continuing to protect the vaccinated.

I sympathize with those who have not been vaccinated. I understand your anxiety about the possibility of a breakthrough’ case.

The science is clear that you are protected against severe illness if you have been fully vaccinated.

Recent data suggests that there is only one confirmed positive case per 5k fully vaccinated Americans every day.

We want you to feel as safe as possible and are doing everything we can to make sure it stays that way.

Boosters are the shots that provide you with even greater protection than your second shot.

I’m sorry if there has been any confusion regarding boosters. Let me clarify: Last month, our top government officials announced a plan for booster shots for Americans who have been vaccinated. They believe that booster shots will provide the highest level protection.

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control will make the final decisions about which booster shots to give, when they should be started, and who will administer them.

We have done our part. We have enough boosters – enough booster shots – and the distribution system can now administer them.

After they are authorized, eligible people will be able immediately to get a booster in tens or thousands of sites across the — sites across America for most Americans, at their local drugstore and for free.

The third part of my plan, and perhaps the most important, is keeping our children safe and our schools closed. It doesn’t really matter how low the chance of an accident or illness is for your grandchild or child. Trust me, it’s true.

Let me speak to your directly. Let me help you with your worries by speaking directly to you.

It comes down to two categories: children 12 years and older who are eligible now for a vaccine, and children 11 years and younger who are not yet eligible.

It is best to get your child vaccinated at 12 and over. They are vaccinated against many things. That’s it. Get them vaccinated.

Like adults, most serious COVID-19 cases seen in adolescents are in unvaccinated 12–17-year-olds. This age group is behind in vaccination rates.

Parents, please get your child vaccinated.

What about children younger than 12 years old who aren’t yet vaccinated? Protecting their child under 12 years old starts at home. Every caregiver should be vaccinated, including every parent and every teen sibling.

Children are four times more likely to be hospitalized if they live and work in states with low vaccination rates than those with high vaccination rates.

If you are a parent of a young baby, you might be wondering when it will be available. I strongly support an independent scientific assessment of vaccine uses for children younger than 12. This scientific work cannot be rushed.

But I have made it clear that I will support the FDA with all resources it needs. Our nation’s top physicians are committed to keeping parents informed about the process so they can plan.

Let’s move on to the schools. We know that schools can protect children from COVID-19 if they follow the science and implement safety measures such as testing, masking, adequate ventilation, social distancing and vaccinations.

Today, around 90 percent of teachers and school staff are vaccinated. We need to make that 100 percent. My administration has already acquired teachers from schools run by Defense Department — because I am the President of the federal system, the Defense Department and Interior Department, to get vaccinated. I have that authority.

Tonight, I am announcing that all of the nearly 300,000 federally paid educators in Head Start must be vaccinated. This will protect your children — our youngest — and provide comfort for parents.

Tonight, I am calling on all governors for mandatory vaccinations for teachers and staff. Although some have already done so, more must be done.

Schools are not required to vaccinate their students. They work. They’re supported by educators and unions in large part. And to all school officials who are trying to do the right things for our children: I’ll always stand by you.

Let me be direct. My plan also includes addressing elected officials and states who are trying to undermine you and your lifesaving actions. Local school officials are trying keep children safe from a pandemic, while their governor picks a fight and threatens their jobs or salaries. Talk about bullying in schools. If they won’t help — these governors won’t help us defeat the pandemic. I will use my power and authority as President to get them off the way.

The Department of Education has already taken legal action against states that violate the protections given to local school officials. We will restore 100 percent pay to any teacher or school official whose wages are withheld because they did the right thing. I promise you that I will always have your back.

My fourth plan is to increase testing and masking. America has not done enough COVID-19 testing since the beginning. I’m taking steps tonight in order to make testing more accessible, cheaper, and more convenient to detect and control this variant of the Delta virus. I’ll use Defense Production Act to increase production for rapid tests, including those you can use at-home.

My administration has been working with top retailers like Kroger’s and Amazon to increase production. Tonight we’re announcing each outlet will begin selling at-home rapid testing kits at no cost for the next three month. This is a price reduction of up to 35 percent on at-home test kit prices.

We’ll also expand and expand free testing at 10,000 pharmacies throughout the country. We are also committing $2 billion to purchase close to 300 million rapid test kits for distribution to schools, community health centers, food banks, and food banks. This will ensure that every American has easy access to affordable, convenient tests. This is important for everyone, especially for parents and children who have not yet been vaccinated. You can test them at your home and others around them.

We know that masking can help stop the spread COVID-19. When I took office, I needed masks for federal buildings, federal lands, airlines, and all other modes of transportation.

Tonight, I am announcing that the Transportation Safety Administration (the TSA) will double the fines for travelers who refuse to wear masks. Be prepared to pay if you break the rules.

Respect is a must. It’s wrong to show anger at flight attendants or others who do their jobs is on television.

Protecting our economic recovery is the fifth piece of my plan. We have seen record job creation under my administration’s American Rescue Plan and a vaccination program. This has resulted in economic growth that is unmatched in 40-years. We can’t allow unvaccinated people to reverse this trend.

Tonight, I’m announcing further steps to support our economic recovery. We will be expanding the COVID-19 Economic Injured Disaster Loan Programs. This program allows small businesses to borrow up 2 million dollars from the current $500,000, to continue their operations in case of COVID-19 impact on sales.

These long-term, low-interest loans are non-repayable for two years. They can be used to hire and keep workers, buy inventory, or pay off higher-cost debts accumulated since the pandemic. I will also be taking additional steps in order to help small businesses survive the pandemic.

Sixth, we will continue to improve the care for those who have COVID-19. In July, I announced the deployment surge response teams. These teams are made up of experts from the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC. They also include the Defense Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help areas in the country affected by COVID-19.

Since then, nearly 1,000 federal employees, including nurses and doctors, have been deployed to 18 states. Today, I am announcing that the Defense Department will increase the number of military medical teams they deploy to assist their fellow Americans in hospitals across the country.

We are also increasing the availability and recommendation of new medicines by real doctors, not conspiracy theorists. Monoclonal antibodies treatments have been shown by some to reduce hospitalization rates by as much as 70% for people who aren’t vaccinated.

These treatments have already been distributed to 1.4 million people. This will help save lives and decrease hospital burdens. Tonight, I’m announcing an additional 50 percent increase in the average rate of monoclonal antibody treatment shipment across the country.

Before I close, let’s say that this virus has a disproportionate impact on communities of color. We will continue to fight COVID-19 and ensure equity remains at the heart of our response. We will ensure that everyone is reached. My first responsibility as President of the United States is to protect the people and ensure we have enough vaccines to cover every American, with enough boosters to cover every American who has been approved.

We also know that the virus can spread across borders. Even though we are executing this plan at home we need to continue fighting this virus overseas and keep the vaccines available.

We are proud that we have donated more than 140 million vaccines in 90 countries. That’s more than all other countries, including Russia, China, Europe and China. This is American leadership on a global scale, and that’s just one example.

We have also started shipping 500 million COVID vaccinations — Pfizer vaccins — to 100 countries of lower income that are in dire need of vaccines. Later this month, I will announce additional steps to help the rest.

I have just released the key components of my pandemic preparedness strategy plan to ensure America isn’t caught off guard by a new pandemic.

Let me conclude by saying that we have made so much progress in the seven months since the pandemic. In some states, where case counts have dropped in recent days, the recent August increases in vaccinations are already having an impact. However, we are still in a critical moment. We have the tools. We now need to finish the job with truth and science, together as one nation.

We are the United States of America. If we do it together, there’s nothing — not one — that we are unable to accomplish. Let’s not forget to stay together.

God bless you all, and all those who are still fighting this pandemic. God bless our troops.

Get vaccinated.