Biden announces Uber, Lyft rides amid July 4 vaccine push

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President Joe Biden speaks about the economy, in the East Room of the White House, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is highlighting new programs from ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft to provide free rides to and from vaccination sites, as the pace of shots nationally declines and he looks to meet his July Fourth inoculation targets.

The partnership with the ride-sharing companies marks the latest in a series of government-encouraged efforts to increase access to shots. It comes as Biden plans to meet virtually with a bipartisan group of governors Tuesday to share best practices for encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.

The White House said Biden also will announce new funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for community outreach efforts to encourage Americans to get vaccinated, as well as a new initiative to host federally supported vaccination sites at community colleges.

Biden’s meeting comes a week after he set a new goal of delivering at least one dose of vaccine to 70% of adult Americans by Independence Day and fully vaccinating at least 160 million by then.

The nation’s vaccination rate has dramatically slowed in recent weeks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of about 730,000 Americans are getting their first dose of vaccine daily, down from a peak of more than 1.9 million per day a month ago.

The White House said Biden will meet with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, all Republicans, as well as Democratic Govs. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Janet Mills of Maine and Tim Walz of Minnesota.

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