Mitch McConnell Tells Joe Biden to 'Exit the Alternate Universe' of July 4 COVID Goal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has accused President Joe Biden of living in an alternate reality by setting the goal of July 4 for a return to normal life in the U.S.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Monday, McConnell argued that many Americans are already getting back to ordinary social activities and the Biden administration needs to "get out more."

The Republican was responding to Biden's prime time address to the nation on Thursday where he also said he was aiming for adults in all 50 states to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations by May 1.

"The president announced another supposedly audacious goal on Thursday; that all adults in all 50 states should be eligible to schedule vaccinations by May 1," McConnell said.

"Here's the problem: Dr. Fauci said a month ago we'd be there by April."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had previously told NBC's Today show he was "virtually certain" all U.S. adults would be able to get the first dose of the vaccine by April.

McConnell called Biden's approach to vaccinations a "walk back." He also hinted that former President Donald Trump's administration deserved greater credit for the vaccine rollout, criticizing the current administration for their "efforts to sprint to the front of this year-long campaign."

However, McConnell's strongest criticism of Biden's address focused on his July 4 goal. The president on Thursday expressed his hope that by the annual Independence Day celebrations Americans could "mark our independence" from the virus by holding traditional barbecues and cookouts.

"This strange proclamation was out of step with science," McConnell said. "The president went on national TV to move the goalposts way beyond what his own CDC is saying."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines do not currently advice against small, outdoor gatherings but they do offer precautions such as mask-wearing and asking those infected to stay home.

"The president's proclamation was far out of step with what's already happening across the country. It was advice for an alternate universe. The president and his advisers may need to get out more," McConnell said.

On Thursday, President Biden spoke in a heartfelt way about grief and loss. But his vision for the road ahead missed the mark. His proclamations broke with Dr. Fauci and his own CDC and ignored what Americans are already doing now. It was like a speech for an alternate universe.

— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) March 15, 2021

"Americans are already getting together in small groups outdoors in blue states and red states, in small towns and big cities. The country is not locked down waiting for July 4," he said.

"Americans are getting vaccines and they learned about this disease. They've learned about the low risk of outdoor transmission. They're making their own determinations as free people," McConnell went on.

McConnell stressed that he believed in "following the science" but said the science did not always support more restrictions.

"One year on, if the president and his administration want to continue to give advice to free citizens, I suggest they exit the alternate universe, stick to the actual science and get acquainted with where the American people actually are," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a press conference following the Senate GOP policy luncheon in the Rayburn Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. McConnell has criticized President Joe Biden's July 4 COVID goal. Samuel Corum/Getty Images