Biden to Host Independence Day Event Celebrating Progress on the Pandemic

The dinner at the White House was planned as a celebration of headway against the coronavirus, but it is still far from a victory pronouncement.

By Zach Montague

On the day that President Biden had long anticipated as a milestone in the fight against the coronavirus, the White House was set to host a celebration to both commemorate the July 4 holiday and herald the administration’s progress toward overcoming the pandemic.

In bringing together some 1,000 people for the largest planned event of Mr. Biden’s presidency, the White House has been forced to walk a fine line, striving to signal progress toward restoring normalcy while still acknowledging the dangers of a pandemic that continues to claim hundreds of lives a day.

For months, the White House had July 4 circled as a breakthrough moment in the pandemic, the point at which many restrictions could be lifted if the country met ambitious vaccination targets.

In the months after his election, Mr. Biden offered only guarded hope that small groups would be able gather by the holiday weekend while still observing familiar safety guidance.

But as vaccination rates climbed steadily throughout the spring, the White House grew more confident, describing the holiday as the beginning of a “summer of freedom” and the event on Sunday as a celebration not only of Independence Day but also of “independence from Covid-19.”

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