President Joe Biden vowed on Tuesday the COVID vaccine will be available to every American ‘by the end of July’ will millions of additional doses on the way and predicted herd immunity may be achieved as early as Christmas.
Biden made the promise during a CNN town hall on the pandemic as his administration faces questions about its target numbers to get the vaccine into the arms of every American.
The first question from moderator Anderson Cooper was ‘when is every American who wants it going to be able to get a vaccine.’
‘By the end of July of this year,’ Biden responded. ‘By the end of July, we’ll have over 600 million doses enough to vaccinate every single American.’
He claimed not enough vaccines were available when he took office on January 20th.
‘We came into office there was only 50 million doses that are available,’ he said. His administration has repeatedly criticized the Trump administration for not having enough doses of the vaccine or a plan in place to distribute it.
President Joe Biden vowed the COVID vaccine will be available to every American ‘by the end of July’ with an additional 600 million doses on the way
President Biden is participating in a CNN town hall with moderator Anderson Cooper
Biden also said, after cautioning he shouldn’t predict things, that herd immunity could be reached by the holidays.
‘They tell me be careful not to predict things that you don’t know for certain what’s going to happen because then you’ll be held accountable. I get that. But let me tell you what I think based on all that I’ve learned,’ he said
He said with the vaccine targets of his administration plus a promising new COVID vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, herd immunity is reachable.
‘As my mother would say with the grace of God and the goodwill of neighbors that by next Christmas I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today,’ he said.
He added that a year from now, ‘I think that there’ll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distance, having to wear a mask etc but we don’t know. So I don’t want to over promise anything here. I told you when I ran and when I got elected I will always level with you.’
Conflicting information has come out the administration on the doses available and how they will be distributed among the population given the complicated logistics that the vaccine requires two doses, within three to four weeks of one another.
The administration has said repeatedly more doses are on the way.
The administration will increase the vaccine supply to states to 13.5 million doses per week and send 2 million vaccine doses to local pharmacies this week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at her briefing Tuesday.
Also in his town hall, which is taking place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Biden urged Americans to get the vaccine no matter what other coronavirus strains may be out there.
‘If you can get a vaccination, get it whenever you can get it, regardless of the other strains that are out there,’ Biden said.
‘It may be that a certain vaccination for a certain strain may reduce from 95% to a lower percentage of certainty that it will keep you from getting it,’ Biden added. ‘But it will still be effective. So the clear notion is, if you’re eligible, if it’s available, get the vaccine. Get the vaccine,’ he continued.
And President Biden said earlier in the day that he break 100 million COVID vaccine shots in 100 days after he was criticized for setting a low ball target.
‘Before I took office, I set a big goal of administering 100 million shots in the first 100 days. With the progress we’re making I believe we’ll not only reach that, we’ll break it,’ Biden wrote on Twitter.
Biden has longed talked about 100 million shots in the arm in his first 100 days as president. He and Kamala Harris, his vice president, have also taken aim at the preparations left by the Trump administration, with Harris attacking them again over the weekend in an interview with Axios on HBO, saying they had been ‘starting from scratch.’
But some experts have called his goal conservative and point out that the effective target of one million doses a day had been met before Biden was even in office. Trump aides were angry that they were not credited for reaching the one million daily inoculations.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves as chief medical adviser to the president, has predicted that any American who wants the vaccine will have access to it by spring.
‘By the time we get to April, that will be what I would call, for better wording, ‘open season,’ Fauci said last week on NBC’s ‘Today Show.’ ‘Namely, virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated.’
But Fauci walked that back Tuesday, telling CNN that it would be Late May or early June.
Since vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, more than 52 million doses have been administered, reaching 11.5 per cent of the total population
President Joe Biden claimed he will break 100 million COVID vaccine shots in 100 days after he was criticized for setting a low ball target
Since vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, more than 52 million doses have been administered, reaching 11.5 per cent of the total population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. is currently administering over 1.6 million shots a day.
At that rate, Biden will easily fulfill his promise to vaccinate 100 million Americans in 100 days.
The president heads to Kalamazoo, Michigan on Thursday, to tour a Pfizer manufacturing facility producing the COVID vaccine.
Biden announced last week his administration secured 200 million more doses of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, enough to inoculate every American adult.
‘We’ve now purchased enough vaccine supplies to vaccinate all Americans,’ Biden said during a visit to the National Institutes of Health. ‘Now we’re working to get those vaccines into the arms of millions of people.’
He warned logistical hurdles means many Americans won’t be vaccinated until the end of summer.
The vaccines are two dose regimens, given three or four weeks apart.
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that any American who wants the vaccine will have access to it by April
Biden also blamed the vaccine delay on his predecessor in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump.
‘It’s no secret that the vaccination program was in much worse shape than my team and I anticipated,’ he said last week at NIH.
‘My predecessor, to be very blunt about it, did not do his job to get ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans,’ he noted.
Additionally, President Biden will address the global issue of COVID this week when he speaks with G-7 leaders. The virtual meeting, hosted by the United Kingdom, will also include leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the European Commission and European Council.
At the weekend, Harris blasted the state of the vaccination program she said the Biden administration inherited when it took office. ‘There was no stockpile of vaccines,’ Harris said after nearly a month in office.
‘There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so in many ways we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for an entire year,’ she told Axios in an interview.
She then pushed back when asked if she had to readjust what was possible to achieve. ‘We’ve got to figure out a way — that has to be our standard,’ she said. ‘Our standard has to be: ‘Everything is possible, but we’re going to have to work like heck to get it done.’
Biden on Thursday singled out President Trump, although he has previously praised Trump’s Operation Warp Speed for its efforts on vaccine development.
‘My predecessor, to be very blunt about it, did not do his job,’ Biden said. ‘We won’t have everything fixed for a while. But we’re going to fix it.’
Fauci, who continued at his post at the National Instituted of Health into the Biden administration after occasionally tangling with Trump, made a statement Jan. 21 that was directly contradicted by Harris.
‘We’re certainly not starting from scratch, because there is activity going on in the distribution,’ Fauci said at the White House.
‘We’re coming in with fresh ideas, but also some ideas that were not bad ideas with the previous administration. You can’t say it was absolutely not usable at all,’ he said. ‘It’s taking what’s going on, but amplifying it in a big way.’
Fauci, 80, told Axios in his own interview that he was concerned for his safety when going to coronavirus task force meetings at the Trump White House.
‘I didn’t fixate on that, but it was in the back of my mind because I had to be out there,’ he said. ‘I mean, particularly when I was going to the White House every day when the White House was sort of a super-spreader location.’