President Joe Biden said he was meeting his two-week deadline for states to make all adults in the United States eligible for coronavirus vaccines. But even when he expressed optimism about the rate of vaccination, he warned Americans that the nation was not yet out in the woods when it came to the pandemic.
“Let me be deadly serious with you: We are not at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do. We are still alive and dead against this virus, “Biden said Tuesday in comments at the White House.
The president warned that “new variants of the virus are spreading and they are moving fast. The cases are rising again, hospital stays are no longer decreasing. He added that “the pandemic remains dangerous” and encouraged Americans to continue washing their hands, socializing and wearing masks.
Biden added that while his administration was on time to reach its new goal of distributing 200 million doses of the vaccines in the first 100 days, it would still take time for enough Americans to be vaccinated to slow the spread of the virus.
But he expressed hope that his Tuesday announcement, that every adult will be eligible by April 19 to register and come in a virtual line to be vaccinated, would help expand the availability and distribution of the vaccine. Some states had already begun moving up their deadlines from the original target of May 1.
“No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions,” Biden said.
Despite the progress we are making as a nation, I want every American to know in an uncertain way that the fight against COVID-19 is not over. pic.twitter.com/gZTkXC7czX
– President Biden (@POTUS) April 6, 2021
Biden made the announcement after visiting a Covid-19 vaccination site by Immanuel Chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. During his visit, he thanked everyone for handling the shots and for showing up to receive them.
“It’s like hitting this,” Biden said. “Get the vaccination when you can.”
The president also said that no one should fear mutations of the coronavirus that appear in the United States after being discovered in other countries. He acknowledged that the new strains were more virulent and dangerous, but said “the vaccines work on all of them.”
Biden also announced that 150 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been fired since his inauguration on January 20. It puts the president on the right track to meet his new goal of 200 million shots administered by his 100th day in office on April 30. .
The village’s original target had been 100 million shots by the end of the first 100 days, but that number was reached in March.
Still, he acknowledged on Tuesday that his administration was below its goal of delivering at least one shot to every teacher, school staff and child care worker in March to try to speed up school openings. Biden announced the goal early last month and directed federal resources toward achieving it, but said Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that about 80 percent of teachers, school staff and child care workers had been shot.
‘Light at the end of the tunnel’
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also spent the day on Tuesday focusing on promoting the Covid-19 vaccine, each touring a vaccination center, Harris in Chicago and Emhoff in Yakima, Washington.
Harris praised the workers and those who received their vaccine at a location in a local union hall and spoke of spring as “a moment where we feel a sense of renewal.”
“We can see a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
Some states are planning to alleviate their health restrictions, even though the country is facing a potential new increase in virus outbreaks.
On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious expert, warned that the country was in a “critical time” because “we could just as easily turn into a wave.”
“It would be a setback for public health, but it would also be a psychological setback,” he said in an interview with the National Press Club. He noted that Americans are experiencing “Covid-19 fatigue” after more than a year of blockades and restrictions on public life aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
Biden and many of his advisers have warned against resuming the economy too quickly and facilitating the worm mandates, with the risk of a new rise in virus cases.
“We just do not want to have to go back to really turn things off. That would be awful, “said Fauci.
But Biden’s announcement of the April 19 deadline was aimed at spreading optimism to a public tired of the restrictions, and it comes when a flood of vaccines is sent to states this week.
White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients told governors on Tuesday during a weekly conference call that more than 28 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine would be delivered to states this week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in her daily review.
That distribution means that the total amount of vaccines distributed in the last three weeks amounts to more than 90 million doses, says Psaki.
Vaccines for everyone who is 16 years and older
At least a dozen states opened eligibility for all 16 and older on Monday, while New Jersey and Oregon announced this week that all residents 16 and older would be eligible on April 19.
New York announced that it is expanding vaccinations to everyone aged 16 and older. 33.8 percent of New Yorkers have completed at least one vaccine dose, according to the New York governor’s office.
The president announced just last week that 90 percent of adults would be eligible for one of three approved Covid-19 vaccines by April 19, in addition to having a vaccination site within five miles of their home.
But eligibility is not the same as actually being vaccinated. Being eligible means that people can register to reserve their place in a virtual line until they can book a meeting.
“That does not mean they will get it that day,” Psaki said. “That means they can join the line that day if they have not already done so in advance.”
Seniors who are still waiting to be vaccinated should seek time quickly “because the lines will be longer” after April 19, Psaki said. “There will be more waiting.”
The White House said Monday that nearly one in three Americans and over 40 percent of adults have received at least one shot, and nearly one in four adults are fully vaccinated. 75 percent of people over the age of 65 have now received at least one shot and more than 55 percent of them are fully vaccinated.
Two of the three vaccines require two doses at intervals of several weeks. The third vaccine requires only one shot.
( Jowharwith AP)