Fact check: Biden didn’t say July 4 celebrations may be canceled if people don’t get COVID vaccinations

The claim: Biden might cancel Fourth of July if people refuse vaccinations

A social media post with over 1,000 reactions claims President Joe Biden might cancel Fourth of July celebrations if Americans don’t get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Biden warns if Americans don’t get COVID jabs they might have to cancel July 4” reads the image shared on April 24 by American rapper Chingo Bling, who has more than 1 million followers on Facebook. 

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The image is a headline from an April 21 New York Post article, which falsely says Biden “warned Americans they may have to cancel ‘small’ outdoor gatherings on the Fourth of July if there’s a slowdown of COVID-19 vaccinations.” 

USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment. 

While Biden has continued to urge Americans to get vaccinated, he hasn’t talked about canceling celebrations for Independence Day.

Biden didn’t mention canceling celebrations

As of Tuesday, almost 30% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, and around 42% have received at least one dose, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During remarks about the COVID-19 pandemic as the United States hit 200 million vaccines administered on April 21, Biden said, “To celebrate our independence from this virus on July 4th with family and friends in small groups, we still have more to do in the months of May and June.”

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He said Americans need to “mask up” until the number of coronavirus-positive cases goes down and until everyone “has a chance to get their shot.”

He encouraged all Americans 16 years old and older, who are now eligible, to get vaccinated before the end of May.

Biden also said that with the high rate of new daily vaccinations, then nearing 3 million according to the CDC, the United States remained on track to be “much closer to normal life” by the Fourth of July.

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In March, when Biden set the new goal of reaching 200 million doses in his first 100 days in office, he already talked about the possibility of celebrating July Fourth with a small group of family and friends.

“If we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th, there’s a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbeque and celebrate Independence Day,” Biden said during his first White House primetime address.

Our rating: False

We rate the claim that Biden might cancel all Fourth of July celebrations if Americans don’t get a coronavirus vaccine FALSE, based on our research. Biden has encouraged Americans to get the vaccine and to keep using masks until the number of coronavirus-positive cases goes down. He hasn’t said people’s July Fourth celebrations will be canceled if they don’t get vaccinated.

Our fact-checking sources:

  • CDC, accessed April 27, 2021, “COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States”
  • Facebook post, April 24, Official Chingo Bling
  • New York Post, April 21, “Biden warns if Americans don’t get COVID jabs they might have to cancel July 4”
  • The White House, April 21, “Remarks by President Biden on the COVID-19 Response and the State of Vaccinations”
  • USA TODAY, March 16, “When can children get COVID-19 vaccine? Will it be safe? Here’s what experts want you to know”
  • CDC, accessed April 27, “Trends in Number of COVID-19 Vaccinations in the US”
  • The White House, March 11, “Remarks by President Biden on the Anniversary of the COVID-19 Shutdown”

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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

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