tv White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing CSPAN April 24, 2021 2:59am-3:32am EDT
>> good morning and thank you for joining us. today, dr. walensky will provide an update on the state of the pandemic. dr. fauci will highlight the most recent science. dr. murphy -- murthy will discuss strengthening vaccination confidence. our vaccination efforts to date have focused on significantly increasing the pace of vaccination. that requires infrastructure,
people, and places for nationwide vaccination programs. it also meant creating sufficient vaccine supply that did not previously exist. we have seen these efforts pay off. we have 75,000 places for americans to get vaccinated. importantly, 90% of all americans live within five miles of a vaccination site. by the end of may, we will have enough vaccine for every adult who wants one. thanks to president biden, everyone 16 and older is now eligible to get a vaccine. as we announced wednesday, we delivered 200 million shots in less than 100 days, at incredible achievement. -- and incredible achievement. this incredible milestone enabled more than 52% of adults
across the country to have at least one shot. that is more than 135 million americans who are on their way to being protected from the virus. more than 80% of individuals 65 years and older now have at least one shot. importantly, seniors accounted for 80% of covid deaths. now we have seen an 80% reduction in death and a 70% reduction in death among seniors, proving how effective vaccination is. this significant progress in a short time is a direct result of our deliberate whole of government wartime effort. where do we go from here?
the next phase of our vaccination program has four key areas of focus. first, we will continue to vaccinate millions of americans each day. as you can see in our report, our current seven-day average is 2.9 million shots, nearly 3 million shots per day. going forward, we expect daily vaccination rates will moderate and fluctuate. we have gotten vaccinations to the most at risk and those most eager to get vaccinated. we will continue those efforts. but we know reaching other populations will take time and focus. second, we will continue to increase accessibility and make it easier and easier for americans to get a shot. i noted a moment ago that 90% of americans have a vaccine site within five miles of where they
live. we are working with states, businesses, doctors, local pharmacies, and other partners to make it even easier for people across the country to get vaccinated. we took a very important step on this front earlier this week by calling on all employers to give paid time off for vaccination. and announcing a tax credit for small and medium businesses to do this more easily. no one should lose a single dollar from their paycheck in order to get vaccinated. further, just as employers are helping americans get vaccinated, so to her doctors. people look -- so to our doctors. estimates show that about 90% of doctors have gotten at least one shot, which marks -- makes doctors an important messenger.
we are working with doctors to encourage their patients to get vaccinated and working with states to get primary care providers vaccine doses soma -- so more americans can get vaccinated at the doctor's office. you will also see is focusing on other ways to make it as easy as possible for americans to get a shot. including encouraging walk-up availability at pharmacies and other sites and providing transportation options for those who need them. third, now that everyone 16 and older is eligible for a free covid shot, we are laser focused on educating the public about these life-saving vaccines. as americans have seen their friends, family, and neighbors get vaccinated, confidence has increased. over the coming days and weeks,
we will double down on getting the facts to the american people about covid-19, about the protection vaccines offer, and the critical path vaccines play in us getting back to normal life. to be clear, we have always known strengthening vaccine confidence was key to getting americans vaccinated. dr. murthy will discuss these efforts in more detail. they include funding, resources, and partnerships with key voices to elevate the importance of vaccination. finally, as we have since the start of this administration, we continue to place equity at the center of everything we do. we are committed to reaching everyone in our response and ensuring everyone has equitable access to vaccines. by expanding our community health center program, deploying
more mobile and pop-up clinics, providing transportation options , and meeting people where they are. , and meeting people or they are. a combined capacity of 70,000 shots per week. to close, we are excited about the tremendous progress to date and the opportunity ahead of us. because of the vaccination program we have built, we are further along than many predicted. that is a very good thing. it means we are closer to returning to normal. while we know the next phase of the vaccination program will involve improving access, increasing confidence, ensuring equity, it will not be easy. but neither was getting to 200 million shots in less than 100 days, but we did it.
that is a cause for reflection. it is what america is capable of when we come together and all of us do our part. with that, let me turn it over to dr. walensky. dr. walensky: thank you jeff. i'm glad to be back today. let's begin with the data. yesterday the cdc reported nearly 63,000 cases of covid-19, our average seven-day is going down, 62,500 per day. this is a 10% drop in average cases from the prior week. the seven-day average of admission's 55,600, a small increase of 1.6% from the prior week. the seven-day average of death has decreased to about 691 per day.
today, i would like to take a moment and celebrate one of the tremendous milestones we as a country achieved this week. as of today, 66% of the u.s. population over 65 is now fully vaccinated. this is over 36 million americans who are protected from covid-19. it is so important we are protecting those over 65. they have borne the brunt of the pandemic and without a vaccine are at high risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death. we are well on our way to having one of our most vulnerable populations fully protected against this deadly virus. that is a reason to celebrate. this achievement has been the result of combined efforts between the cdc, fema, and the health resources and services administration. state governments and private
sector partnerships and importantly you as individuals who are one it is time -- one at a time rolling up your sleeves. we are working as quickly as possible to get the rest of the country vaccinated. as we look at the data on vaccine coverage, it is important for us to dive deeper into what we are seeing across the country. we see on this map that vaccine coverage is not uniform across the country. please note we have state and local data, but not county level data for texas and hawaii. otherwise, looking county by county, there are some unsettling gaps in our coverage. some areas are doing very well with greater than 65% coverage for those over 65 as indicated by dark blue. but many areas have far less coverage. less than 47 percent as indicated by the lightest areas. .
because this virus is an opportunist, we anticipate the areas of lightest coverage now might be where the virus starts next. with modest protection of our oldest population, many more deaths could ensue. while we have many reasons to celebrate, we also have the potential, indeed the need, to do more to protect people now. on the cdc's data tracker website we provide disease a data down to the county level. this allows you to learn how the virus may be spreading in your community and what percent of your county is vaccinated. vaccination is about protecting ourselves from covid. it is also about protecting those in your community. our family, our friends, and our neighbors. now that everyone is eligible for vaccine, please help turn your county towards a darker shade of blue. the healthy are our families
are, the healthier we will be as a nation. i want to show a new study published this week by cdc scientists. on wednesday, the new england journal of medicine published the preliminary findings of post-covid 19 vaccine surveillance in pregnant persons. lyrical trials of covid-19 -- clinical trials did not include pregnant people, leaving us with limited data to date. countrywide surveillance using the vaccine adverse event reporting system, we were able to follow over 35,000 pregnant people were vaccinated. pregnant people experience the same side effects as others. we were also able to follow, in detail, more than 3900 pregnant women and over 800 of whom who
have completed their pregnancies. importantly, no safety concerns were observed for people vaccinated in the third trimester or safety concerns for their babies. the cdc recommends that pregnant people receive the covid-19 vaccine. we understand this is a deeply personal decision. we encourage people to talk to their talkers to determine what is best for them and their baby. i started today by saying we have many tremendous milestones to celebrate this week. in addition to over 55% of americans over 65 being vaccinated, this is also the week we hit 200 million vaccines in less than 100 days. and the week when all americans aged 16 and older are eligible for vaccination. i encourage all younger people to follow the example of older americans and get vaccinated. regardless of your age,
encourage it -- encourage people to get vaccinated. i will turn things over to dr. fauci. dr. fauci: i will switch topics from vaccines to therapeutics. can i have the first slide? my colleague and i published a paper in med reviewing the therapeutic landscape. one of the important points we made was that the results from one stage of disease should not be extrapolated between disease stages even though we are getting more and more candidates that have been shown to have some positive effect in clinical trials. next slide. taking this from the guidelines panel that i mentioned to this group at a prior press briefing, if you look at the color-coded
boxes on the left, they represent disease severity from people as out patients who are not hospitalized to people who are hospitalized but do not require supplemental oxygen, to those requiring supplemental oxygen, to those requiring high flow devices, to the final, most extreme, of those requiring mechanical ventilation. there are different therapies that have been approved by the fda or have been given an emergency use authorization or that have come in practice. as i did before, i encourage physicians to check out the treatment guidelines if you have any questions about treatment. next slide. this slide tells us the case fatality rate over time in the
united states and throughout the world. note here that the case fatality rate of individuals has come down very likely due to best practices being implemented, namely, knowing how to take care of patients better, but also the introduction of a number of therapies into the care of individuals. i showed this at a previous briefing. when you talk about direct antiviral therapies being targeted against vulnerable points in the replication cycle, there are several of these in various stages of trial. i want to mention very briefly that there are three new clinical trials that have started over the past week. first, a trial called active
six, a randomized placebo-controlled trial looking at seven existing prescription and over-the-counter medications that participants were self administered. we know this is going on in clinical practice. we will try to find out if they actually work. these include vitamin d, fluoxetine, and others. the second trial is called active too, an interesting trial of a polyclonal antibody derived from cows placed into a therapeutic protocol involving a number of other agents as shown on the bottom of the slide. next, finally, therapeutics for severely ill individuals. the trial is randomized, blinded, and placebo-controlled. it will study remdesivir alone
and in combination against the placebo. there are a number of things going on in the area of therapeutics. as we go along, the weeks and months to come, we will update you on clinical trials and important results. i will headed over to dr. murthy . dr. murthy: thank you dr. fauci. it is good to be with all of you this morning. we know that that's in confidence has been building in our country since the end of last year or early january. the vast majority of people in the country now are either vaccinated or want to be vaccinated soon. with that said, we want to continue our efforts to ensure that we are getting information to people and empowering them with knowledge about the covid-19 vaccine so that they can ultimately make decisions
for themselves and their family and protect themselves from covid. today i want to show two updates related to our "we can do this" public education campaign. people want to ask questions about the vaccine directly to health care professionals, including their doctors. we are launching "we can do this life" which connects people with information about vaccination for medical experts to places that they already get information online. we are pairing up doctors with influencers. organizations that have agreed to share their platforms include mark cuban, eva longoria, walter kim, and also nascar, the nba,
and the wnba and many more. the goal is to reach audiences who may not be following the news or government account or medical doctors or scientists. if we put doctors and experts directly into their feeds, we believe we can help them get information from trusted sources. it is one more way we are seeking to build confidence in the vaccine. the second update is that several weeks ago we launched the covid-19 community core, a nationwide grassroots network of health professionals, community organizations, union and state leaders. the goal was to step up and protect our communities with vaccine education and empowerment working with noble partners. i want to highlight some stories we have been hearing about the work from a few of those organizations. meals on wheels is now working
with local governments, pharmacies, and other partners to host a vaccination clinic at senior centers and offer mobile vaccination to work -- reach those who are homebound. another organization is promoting covid-19 vaccine through their #love thy neighbor social media campaign. the national association of manufacturers and manufacturing institute, both members of the covid-19 community, have partnered with the unity -- the university of florida center for public interest to research what messages work best to communicate about covid-19 vaccine. dr. stanford, the follow -- founder of black doctors covid-19 contortion, --
consortium spoke with me about vaccinating tens of thousands of people in the philadelphia area. the digital, radio, and tv campaigns we have to get information out. more than $3 billion we are moving to local communities to up support our local organizations in their efforts to people vaccinated. i know that covid has separated many of us physically. what is encouraging and inspiring to me is how we people , despite that separation, have stepped up to help one another. that is what we need now to bring the pandemic to an end. i know that with these briefings we show what the government is doing to address the pandemic. there's a lot happening in that department. but to truly trying to pandemic around requires more. it requires each of us to take action to protect ourselves and other people in our lives. ultimately, i believe this is one of those moments where we
have to decide who we are as a country. are we 300 million people live you live in the same place? or are we funnel americans who recognize we are stronger when we care for and protect -- all or are we fellow americans recognize we are stronger when we care for one another? america is best when it is a community where people look out for one another, tied together by common values and common concerns. i believe that is who we are at our best. that is why i am urging every person in our country to get vaccinated and help the people you love get vaccinated. make sure they have an appointment. help them get answers to questions. lead by example and show them that you are getting vaccinated too. if we do this together, we will turn the pandemic around. in the process, we will protect our families, communities, and country. thank you for your time. i look forward to your questions. that to you, jeff.
dr. zients: let's open it up for questions. we only have time for a few questions today. >> if the pause on the j&j vaccine is listed but there is this link with this severe adverse event, even if it is incredibly rare, how do you see the j&j vaccine fitting into your campaign going forward? i know there will be some people who say there are two vaccines that are not linked to any rare conditions, so why should we be using the j&j vaccine at all if you have two vaccines that do not have any rare side effects associated dr. walensky: with them? dr. walensky:thank you for that question --dr. walensky: thank you for that question.
we have been doing a lot of work to identify additional cases and conduct risk/benefit analysis. part of that is, who would prefer or would not otherwise have access to two does vaccine or would otherwise not get it? that analysis will be submitted today. the fda and cdc feel strongly that we need to act swiftly after that analysis. there are plenty of people interested in the j&j vaccine. it is just for convenience and the single-dose option. >> next question. >> tommy you are muted.
let's go to the next question. we will go to bloomberg. >> thank you for taking the time jeff. can you give us an update on the days or weeks or months before you think you way as possible -- is possible? can you talk about the president's remarks earlier this week about sharing vaccine doses with other countries. india is having a terrible time now. that is a company that has been shipping astrazeneca for other nations. will the u.s. and sitter -- consider sharing its astrazeneca doses? jeff zients: this is a
process between the fda and the companies. we expect j&j to work through this with the fda. our vaccination program was never built on one vaccine. we have plenty of vaccines. there are tens of millions of doses already out in the country of moderna and pfizer ready to be administered. now, all adults 16 and older are eligible for shot. we have plenty of vaccine supply to have all adults get vaccinated. as to india, i will first of dr. -- i will first have dr. fauci comment. it is a very difficult situation. dr. fauci: thank you jeff. india is going through a terrible situation now. yesterday they had the largest
number of cases ever reported by any country. they have a situation where there are variants that have arisen. we have not yet fully characterized the variants and the relationship between the ability of the vaccines to protect. but we are assuming they need vaccines. the cdc is helping out by consulting with them as they have in other countries. they are giving technical assistance. but it is a dire situation. we are trying to help in any way we can. we have to see how things go and obviously they need to get people vaccinated because that is the only way to turn it around. jeff zients: we have a long-standing commitment to india's public health and working closely with them in the covid response. our team is providing assistance to the country.
this is a global pandemic. india demonstrates the risk of what can happen if we do not get the pandemic under control everywhere. that is why we made the biggest investment in covax and are committed to sharing vaccine supply as our confidence around supply increases we will explore those options. next question. dr. fauci: early on when we were not seeing countries in lower and middle income countries that did not have as many infections, people would say, maybe there is something special about climate, about this, but what this is telling us in africa and india that when you have a global pandemic it is a global pandemic. no countries are safe from it. jeff zients: next question. rendon goodman at web md.
-- brenda goodman at web md. >> you described a lot of things the government is doing to try to make vaccinations more accessible. i am wondering if there has been discussion of if the market has become saturated. is it discussed offering any incentives to help move the movable middle people? jeff zients: the incentives are clear. vaccines save lives. we talked about the 80% decrease in death for people over 65. that is so critical, because sadly, people over 60, -- people over 60 accounted for over 80% of death. we need to make sure vaccines are accessible and easy to find
and to get your shots. convenient. at the same time, we need to continue to build vaccine confidence, answer questions about safety and efficacy, and make sure we continue to have equity at the center arrived -- the center of everything we do. the case for getting vaccinated is compelling. we need to make sure people have the information they need to make that decision and then hopefully people get vaccinated as soon as possible now that it is everybody 16 and older. thank you for joining
>> "washington journal" continues. host: myron ebell joins us via zoom and he led the environmental protection agency, served as the director for competitive institute for energy and environment. remind viewers first what you do and what your mission is, especially on this issue of a changing climate. guest: cei, competitive enterprise institute, is a fairly small public policy