Biden marks 800K COVID-19 deaths by urging Americans to get vaccinated

President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE on Tuesday marked what he called a "tragic milestone" of 800,000 Americans dying of COVID-19 by urging those who are still unvaccinated against the virus to get the shot.

"As we head into the winter and confront a new variant, we must resolve to keep fighting this virus together. This means getting vaccinated and getting your booster shot, and taking other prevention measures, such as masking," Biden said in a statement, calling the vaccines "our best tool to prevent more loss and pain."

"If you were fully vaccinated before mid-June, please go get your booster shot as soon as possible. And if you haven’t already — please get yourself and your school-age children vaccinated," Biden said. "I urge all Americans: do your patriotic duty to keep our country safe, to protect yourself and those around you, and to honor the memory of all those we have lost. Now is the time."

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Biden expressed empathy with those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, and he pointed to his administration's efforts to distribute vaccines, which have led to roughly 240 million Americans getting at least one shot.

The United States has the highest number of recorded deaths of any country in the world from the virus.

Biden administration officials and public health experts have redoubled their messaging in recent weeks about the importance of getting vaccinated and getting a booster shot when eligible, citing concerns about rising cases in the winter months and the spread of the more transmissible omicron variant.

"Really we want to bolster our immune protection to fight against this variant that has a lot of mutations," CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyCDC on omicron cases, hospitalizations: 'Milder does not mean mild' WATCH: White House COVID-19 Response Team update The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Breaking: Justice Breyer to retire MORE said Tuesday on CBS. "And so yes, we would really like people to get doubly vaccinated and then get their booster when they're eligible for their booster."