President Biden's primetime speech being met with mixed reaction

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- President Joe Biden's first primetime address to the nation marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic has been met with mixed reaction.

As many Philadelphians wait their turn to get vaccinated, those who are eligible waited in long lines at the FEMA mass vaccination site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Thursday night.

Some we talked to said they have full faith in the Biden Administration to deliver mass doses of the vaccine. Others are still skeptical.

During Biden's address, he announced his plan to make all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1 and "begin to mark our independence from this virus" by the Fourth of July. He offered Americans fresh hope and appealed anew for their help.

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President Joe Biden used his first prime-time address to outline his plan Thursday night to make all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1 and get the country "closer to normal" by the Fourth of July, offering Americans fresh hope and appealing for their help.

"It's hope. It's like we're going to be through this soon," said Edward Onorato of South Philadelphia.

"I like to be confident that we can do that," said Javari Cherry of Northeast Philadelphia.

Others aren't as optimistic.

"I don't think that's going to happen, we're so far behind as it is," said Douglas Johnson of Center City.

The timing and message behind his address may also lift spirits in the suburban counties outside of the city.

On Thursday evening, Delaware County and many other lawmakers held a Zoom press conference deeply concerned with vaccine distribution.

County Councilman Kevin Madden says southeastern Pennsylvania still isn't getting enough.

"Look we would love to be ready to get to 1b, it's not because we're not trying. It's because we're not getting our fair share of the vaccines," said Madden.

In fact, Madden says they're demanding the state reallocate vaccine doses for areas that are behind.

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Marking a year of loss and disruption, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the $1.9 trillion relief package that he said will help the U.S. defeat the coronavirus and nurse the economy back to health.

"We just want assurance from the state they are not going to move any part of the state into 1b before all of us have completed 1a," said Madden.

We spoke with residents who agree.

"My husband and I both have compromised immune systems and both are over 50. We haven't had any luck at all," said Melinda Grieski of Brookhaven.

The U.S. is expecting delivery of enough doses for those 255 million adults by the end of that month, but the process of actually administering those doses will take time.

Biden said his administration is launching a nationwide website to help people find doses, saying it would address frustrations so that there would be "no more searching day and night for an appointment."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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