Biden to host Independence Day barbecue and fireworks

WASHINGTON (AP) – Joe Biden is ready to host the largest event yet of his presidency, an Independence Day barbecue and fireworks-watching celebration on the South Lawn on Sunday night.

It comes after he’s been in office nearly six months and has been fighting a pandemic every step of the way.

Biden wants Americans to celebrate too, after enduring 16 months of disruption and more than 605,000 COVID-19 deaths.

The White House is encouraging gatherings and fireworks displays all around the country to mark what it calls the nation’s “independence” from the virus.

But more than 200 Americans still die each day from the virus, a more infectious variant is spreading rapidly and tens of millions have chosen not to get vaccinated.