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tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  April 19, 2021 1:01pm-1:31pm EDT

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who look to me to help with the fulfillment of their dreams and aspirations and the congressional black caucus has
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that same role to play on the national stage. >> find c-span's the weekly where you get your podcasts. today's white house covid-19 briefing, health officials announced that everyone 16 years and older is now eligible for a vaccine. they also said that the health and human services department would be making $150 million available to community-based health care providers. >> good morning, thank you for joining us. i'm joined by dr. walensky from the c.d.c. and dr. fauci from n.i.h. today. i want to tell you today that things are about to get a whole lot easier. when we arrived in january, many americans were understandably frustrated with the pace of the vaccination program and the sea of challenges. not enough vaccines. few places to get vaccinated. shortage of vaccinators. and confusing rules on who
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qualified in every state, tribe, and territory. we got to work around the clock deploying a whole of government approach from the fema personnel who are getting shots in arms across communities in the country to the women and men of the armed forces who are overseeing the shipment and delivery of the vaccine and the scientists and clinicians and f.d.a., c.d.c., n.i.h. who ensured the safety of these vaccines. as a result, our vaccination program is now humming. and it's even accelerating. over 80% of seniors have had at least their first shot. up from 8%. and now 50% of adults in the u.s. have had at least one shot. up from 5%. and we now have one thing on our mind. making sure that the other 50% know how easy it is to get a shot. so if you still think it's too difficult to get your vaccine,
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here's what you need to know. the lack of supply, the shortage of locations, the confusing rules are all in the past. that cannot be said enough. thanks to the aggressive action taken by many, and the collaboration of so many people across the country, there are now thousands of more people ready to help you get vaccinated. there are now millions more vaccine doses available and waiting. and there are now more than 60,000 safe and convenient places for you to get your shot. everyone will finally be able to safely hug a loved one, to see each other without masks, to see old friends, that's an opportunity now within reach of you if you make your appointment. if you're 16 or over, it is your turn to get vaccinated. no matter where you live.
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and now there's a nine out of 10 chance that you are located within five miles of your vaccine shot. and for those of you who people in your lives who can't get to a vaccine site, we are helping community-based organizations connect vulnerable americans with shots. and to get resources to health care providers serving at-risk populations and to promote equitable distribution of vaccines, today h.h.s. is making $150 million available to community-based health care providers to strengthen their efforts to get shots in arms and care for patients with covid-19. i want to conclude my remarks by offering great thanks. this vaccination program will be what brings us out of the pandemic. and thanks to the president's whole of government, wartime response, today is an important day in the entire scope of the
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pandemic. thanks to the scientists who have spent more than 20 years researching and developing the technology that led to these vaccines. to the warehouse workers and truck drivers getting vaccine doses to every corner of the country, to the local pharmacies, health centers, medical centers, faith-based organizations, and many more ensuring vaccine access in their communities, and to the health care workers who are putting the shots in arms. thanks to all of them it has never been easier to get a shot. join the more than 130 million americans who have already gotten at least one shot. half of all adults. that's a lot of progress, but as we said from the start, winning this war against covid-19 takes all of us doing our part. so here's my direct plea to everyone listening.
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if you haven't already made an appointment to get vaccinated, make one right now. you're eligible. then, reach out to your family, friends, and neighbors to make sure they can make an appointment too. and see what you can offer them to help those who might need a little extra assistance. thank you. with that i will turn it to dr. walensky. dr. walensky: thank you, andy. good morning. i'm so glad to be back with you again today. let's begin with the overview of the data. yesterday, c.d.c. reported nearly 60,950 cases of covid-19. our seven-day average is up to over 67,440 per day. for context, one month ago, our seven-day average of cases was just over 53,000 per day. the seven-day average of hospital admissions is about 5,460. and sadly, the seven-day average of daily deaths are now increasing with six consecutive days of increases to about 695
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deaths per day. sunday we, again, saw almost 700 deaths in a single day. in good news, so far we have administered 209 million vaccine doses with an average daily administration of more than three million doses. this brings us to 192.8 million doses in the first 100 days. 96% of our goal in 88 days. this means that almost 40% of the total population has received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. and one out of every four people is fully vaccinated. also encouraging news, more than 65% of people over the age of 65 and more than -- more than 25% over the age of 65 are fully vaccinated. this is tremendous progress. thank you so much to the many
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people across the united states who have lined up to get vaccinated. your efforts will help us get out of this pandemic. i want to recognize that we remain in a complicated stage. on the one hand, more people in the united states are being vaccinated every single day at an accelerated pace. on the other hand, cases and hospitalizations are increasing in some areas of the country and cases among younger people who have not yet been vaccinated are also increasing. just like all of you, i want to get back to doing the things i love with family and friends who i haven't been able to see over the past year. we all have a role in turning this tide and to trend our cases down. one of the most important things we can do to get back to doing the things we love is to get vaccinated. i am so thrilled that today all
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people age 16 and up are eligible for the covid-19 vaccine. a tremendous step forward in our efforts to end this pandemic. data from c.d.c. and other experts continue to show the covid-19 vaccines we're using are effective and can prevent severe disease, hospitalization and death. as all adults now become eligible to get vaccinated, i want to again point out two really encouraging pieces of data. first, we recently released a study how vaccines are working in the real world. among nearly 4,000 health care personnel, first responders, and essential workers who received the pfizered a moderna vaccines, the risk of -- and moderna vaccines, the risk of infection, symptomatic anda stomach attic -- and asymptomatic was reduced. additional evidence these vaccines are working. the efficacy we saw in clinical
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trials is now being shown in the real world. second, last week we released data on the so-called number of so-called breakthroughin fekss of people who, despite being vaccinated, still tested positive for covid-19. more than 14 days after getting their second vaccine dose. with any vaccine, we expect such rare cases. but so far out of more than 84 million people who are fully vaccinated, we have only received reports of less than 6,000 breakthrough cases. although this number is from 43 states and territories and likely an underestimate, it still makes a really important point. these vaccines are working. of the nearly 6,000 cases, approximately 30% had no symptoms at all. this is really encouraging news. it demonstrates that what we've already discussed about these vaccines -- they also help you
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prevent from getting seriously ill. additionally, our current data suggests that covid-19 vaccines authorized for use in the united states offer protection against the variants circulating in the united states. these data are now available on the c.d.c. website at cdc.gov with information on how health care providers and public health authorities can report breakthrough infections if they see them occur. we will update the data as it is reported to the c.d.c. based on these data, here's the bottom line -- getting a vaccine will help protect you. it will help protect others. and it will help us end this pandemic. the more people get vaccinated, the fewer infections there will be, which means fewer variants will emerge and fewer breakthrough infections will occur. and the quicker we can get back to doing the things we love. by working together, taking precautions, and all of us getting vaccinated, we can turn the corner on this public health
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crisis. thank you. i'll now turn things over to dr. fauci. dr. fauci: thank you very much, dr. with a lensly. -- walensky. today is april 19. can i have the first slide, please? as you heard, right now all adults are eligible for covid-19 vaccine that can get backs vated -- vaccinated and by adults i mean a little bit below that, people 16 years of age or older now can get vaccinated wherever vaccines are available. for those who are hesitant about vaccines, we have a great deal of confidence in the ability of the american people to do their own homework, to make up their minds based on the data. next slide. so let's take a look at what vaccines are. they're efficacious in clinical
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trials, in the real world, and they're safe. there is data to back each of that up. and we invite people who are in the process right now of making a decision about whether they want to get vaccinated to look at the real transparent data. next slide. have these vaccines been efficacious in clinical trials? next slide. we know for sure they are. this is -- this is work that has been done in tens of thousands of people in clinical trial, has been peer reviewed independently, and published in scientific journals. with pfizer and moderna showing the efficacy here from "the new england journal of medicine" papers. next slide. the same holds true for j&j. all three are highly efficacious in clinical trials.
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next slide. the incomes question is, are they effective in the real-world setting? there's real, transparent data about that. next slide. for example, if you look at the real-world effectiveness, there are a number of studies. i'm just going to give you some examples. in over 23,000 employees at the university of texas, the infection rate was minuscule among vaccinated employees. .05%. the c.d.c., looking, again, at the real-world effectiveness, showed that in almost 80,000 person days with full immunization, .04 per 1,000 person days. next slide. more data showing that when you look at mass vaccination setting, nationwide, comparing 600,000 vaccinated people, which
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max control in israel, look at the real-world efficacy. next slide. speaking of israel, look at the relationship between vaccination and the number of cases. in israel, 61.8% have received at least one dose. we are not there yet, but we can get there. next slide. finally, is it safe? well, we've been talking now about the extraordinary capability we have of monitoring safety. we're -- where in an extreme adverse event where six individuals was picked up by the surveillance system. next slide. what are the surveillance systems? they're many that follow up on clinical trials. there's monitoring systems by the c.d.c., by the f.d.a., and
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other monitoring systems. so when we say a vaccine is safe, you're talking about an exquisitely sensitive monitoring system. so what we say to anyone who has doubts about getting a vaccine? we leave it up to you. look at the data. the data speak for themselves. and on the last slide, we all want normalcy in america. the highway to that normalcy is vaccination. very similar to what israel has done and is doing, we can get there and every single day as we get three million to four million people vaccinated, we get closer and closer to that normalcy. thank you very much. back to you, andy. andy: thank you, dr. fauci. just to clarify -- i think you said six out of seven million at last count, is that correct? dr. fauci: yes. andy: ok. great. let's open it up for questions.
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>> let's go to rebecca robin, "new york times." reporter: yes, thank you. the institute of india has been saying that biden administration is blocking exports of raw materials that it needs to make covid vaccines. the institute has also urged president biden to lift that embargo. so i wanted to ask -- which raw materials are at issue here? do you have any plans to address their concerns? andy: so dr. fauci, i don't know if you have a response or any details. dr. fauci: you know, andy, i don't. we can get back to you on that, i'm sure. i don't have anything for you right now. andy: let us get back to you. suffice it to say we are taking very seriously the global threat from the pandemic. have been a leader in the funding of covax. has done several bilateral
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transfers of vaccines. and are looking very hard and taking very seriously all of these complex issues. we'll get back to you on specifics. next question. >> tamara, npr. reporter: thank you so much. i have just a couple but i hopefully won't take too long. one question i have is whether you're seeing rural-urban divide in the uptick in new cases. and also whether that divide is showing up in vaccine hesitancy or nonhesitancy. and then a broader question for my colleague, rob, who asks, with surging cases, again, in many places and now even deaths rising again, should the federal government be doing more than just appealing to people to be careful? andy: let me take that -- dr. walensky will take those questions, rural versus urban divide, and i think the second part of the question, what precautions are we erjing people
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to take and -- urging people to take and what else can we tell people? dr. walensky: we can't do it at the state level. we have to do it at smaller county levels. zip code levels to really understand what the uptick is. and what the cases are. as well as looking what the f.b.i. is in all those ranges and we are doing that data now and hopefully get back in touch with you. andy: ok. next question, please. >> dan. reporter: thanks very much. we'd like the data, dr. walensky, and be released to the whole media, not just one paper. i wonder what the change to all adults being eligible, what will you do when demand is uneven in certain parts of the country? are you continuing the bipopulation distribution or
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send vaccines to places where there is more demand versus less? thanks very much. andy: yes. let me reiterate a couple points here. we have at least week 28 million vaccines being shipped out to states. that is more than enough to maintain our current pace of at least three million doses per day. so we are increasingly competent that while people may have some period of time where they need to wait, we do believe that there is adequate vaccine supply for everybody to get vaccinated and get an appointment increasingly. the other thing i'll say is that, you know, i think our philosophy, just because a state may be behind in their demand for vaccines or it may take a little more work to get vaccines into arms in some places relative to others, it does not mean that we think we should be giving up on those locations.
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it does not mean we think they should lose those doses and be automatically transferred somewhere else. it just simply means that we and the state and county officials and local doctors need to work harder to listen to the local communities and as dr. fauci, i think so well said, allow people to get the information they need to make the decision about whether to get vaccinated or not. so we are going to make sure everybody, no matter where you are in the country, has ample opportunity to get vaccinated. we are not going to, quote-unquote, punish less ready areas. we're going to work harder with them to make sure people have the information they need. dr. walensky: and maybe just to follow up to say we have seen that administration of vaccine across the country is not uniform. we -- even in our preliminary analysis, we know it hasn't been inform and that's exactly why we have to engage in the efforts that was just discussed. andy: next question. >> shannon at nbc.
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reporter: hi. i have a couple that should be relatively quick, though. first, i just want to double check that you have not received any additional severe adverse -- beyond those six that were reported last week. and i also wanted to know the pace of vaccinations has been sticking around three million to 3.5 million doses a day. do you expect that to be the pace we're going to see vaccinations per day throughout the summer or are you anticipating at some point that's going to get up to, you know, four million, or above four million, or should we just expect it to stay at that three million? and then finally, i know we are approaching president biden's 100 days. ask people to wear a mask through the first 100 days. so after that 100-day mark, do you anticipate there being some lessening of that mask
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restriction or some change to the requirement given that he could have set that deadline for a mask of 100 days? andy: ok. so the first question goes to dr. walensky, which is about the johnson & johnson adverse events. dr. walensky: thank you for that question. we have been collecting people who have been reporting things through vers. we are working through -- there has been a handful of cases, not an overwhelming number of cases. we are working through and adjudicating them to see if they reflect a true case. that will be the work of the c.d.c. this week as well as the f.d.a. and then we will present that to acfp on friday. so we are doing that work right now. we are encouraged it hasn't been an overwhelming number of cases but we're looking and seeing what's come in. andy: what was your second question? do you remind -- can you remind me? reporter: the pace.
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andy: doing more than three million vaccines a day, whether we will do more. and i think you heard you were impressed that we could do more than three million a day and that's fantastic. there is no number high enough for us. and we are putting 28 million vaccines a week into the field and doing everything we can working around the clock with states. and states are doing everything they can to work around the clock. so i'm not going to predict what that's going to look like in the future. i'm not sure i would have predicted we would be at this point, but i can tell you that we are more than prepared to sustain the pace and i would just reiterate that today's the day when there are so many americans that still think getting a vaccine is a complicated, confusing process, because when it rolled out, indeed it was more challenging and more difficult. so we need to remind people that it's easy. because there's a lot of people that want to get vaccinated but they think it might be challenging. it has never been easier.
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if you're over 16, you are very likely to be very close to a vaccination location with an appointment near you so. please take advantage of that. then you have a third question. >> andy, it was about the 100 -day mask. andy: let's get to the 100 days. you know one thing about president biden. he follows the science. he listens to scientists. we've got 12 more days to go to get there. so please, mask up, everybody, because it does save lives. next question. >> last question. zeke at a.p. reporter: thank you. dr. fouch eye -- dr. fauci, dr. walensky, can you give us a mile markers on the highway back to normalcy. to follow up on shannon's question. is it your medical opinion that
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mask wearing will be necessary after the 100-day mark? additionally, is it advisable now for people who are fully vaccinated to travel or are you still recommending against it? and a general sense when we could expect to see -- we've seen in israel, they began to lift their outdoor mask mandates at 60% vaccination rate, is that something where you would change that recommendation here in the u.s.? what milestone should the public expect as more people get vaccinated for when they can get back to normal? dr. fauci: so let me take a shot at the israel thing. so i think we need to remember -- the slide that dr. walensky showed about the seven-day average of cases. that's between 60,000 and 70,000 cases a day. when you talk about the israelis pulling back and getting to
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normal, their level of infection now is extremely low. based on the fact that they have reached a level where they have now about 62% of them received at least one dose. that's what we're aiming for. if you remember what i have said on multiple press conferences that every time and every day you get more and more people vaccinated, sooner or later, hopefully sooner, that level of infection will get lower and lower. and when it does, it becomes easier and easier to get back to some degree of normality. but back to you, dr. walensky. dr. walensky: yeah. i would just say this is an interplay between how many people are vaccinated and how much disease is out there. and while we're making extraordinary strides in the people vaccinated, we have an extraordinary amount of disease out there. i think that interplays when we really need to consider here. we know these vaccines work extraordinarily well as prevention intervention. however, they take some time to kick in.
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you know, somewhere in the two to six-week mark. if we have a lot of circulating virus today, the vaccines will work, you know, in a month, but they may not work today. so we need to continue to keep the prevention measures up to prevent ongoing cases today. andy: great. thank you for your question. if you are not one of the 130 million american adults who have been vaccinated, today is a great day for you. it's never been easier. so please, join that group of people who have done what dr. fauci has said, done their homework, looked at the data and seen the extraordinary difference in their life and their health and the safety of their family that can happen. thank you to everybody who's made this happen so far and is continuing to work hard to make theress of it -- the rest of it happen and we will be back here wednesday. thanks. >> go to c-span.org/coronavirus for the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. if you miss our live coverage,
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it's easy to quickly find the latest briefings and the biden administration's response. use the interactive gallery of maps for the u.s. and worldwide. go to c-span doish/coronavirus. -- kroig.org -- c-span.org/vfb. >> the house is coming in at 2:00. votes expected at 6:30. you can expect live coverage of the house here on c-span. host: every monday at this hour we take a closer look at covid-19, where we are in the pandemic, more than a year after the first cases were here in the united states. well over a year since it came from wuhan, china. joining us from ann arbor, michigan is dr. howard markel, the director for the history of medicine at the university of michigan. thank you for being with us. dr. markel: hi, i am fondly here. host: thank you for joining us.

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