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tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  July 22, 2021 5:32pm-6:09pm EDT

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>> washington post syndicated finance columnist michelle singletary, sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's "q&a," you can also listen to "q&a" as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts. >> the white house covid-19 response team held a briefing to give an update on government efforts to combat the virus. topics covered include the delta variant cases in the ution and ongoing clinical vaccine trials for children younger than 12 years of age. >> good morning, thank for joining us. today, dr. walensky will update us, i'll discuss the work to get more people vaccinated and dr. murphy will talk about the on the ground
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work we're supporting in communities to get more people vaccinated. then we'll open it for questions. over to dr. what lens walensky. >> thank you. let's begin with overall overview of the data. yesterday c.d.c. reported 43,600 new cases of covid-19. our seven-day average is about 37,700 cases per day. this represents an increase of 53% from the prior seven-day average. so seven-day average of hospitalizations is about 3,500 per day, an increase of about # 2% from the previous seven-day period. as the seven-day average of daily deaths have increased to 237 per day, an increase of about 19% from the previous seven-day period. today i want to speak about our need to come together against a common enemy. sars-cov-2 and the delta variant. the delta variant is
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spending with incredible efficiency and represents more than 83% of the virus circulating in the united states. compared to the virus we had circulating initialty li in the united states at the start of the pandemic, the delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains. it is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that i've seen in my 20-year career. we recognize that some of are still thinking about whether to get vaccinated. maybe you're seeing public officials stepping forward to get vaccinated or watching that your community hospitals are getting full or scarier still, maybe covid-19 sickness has tragically hit you or your community closer to home. if you are still on the fence, if you still have questions about the vaccine, we welcome them. my request to you is this. ask your questions. talk to your health care
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provider. talk to your pharmacist. talk to your friends and neighbors who have gotten vaccinated, and get your questions answered so you feel comfortable and informed in making this critical decision. and please, continue to do the things that we know worked to protect you and your family until you are fully vaccinated. if you are not vaccinated, please take the delta variant seriously. this virus has no incentive to let up and it remains in search of the next vulnerable person to infect. please consider getting veterans administration nailted and take precautions -- vaccinated and take precautionses until you do. if you've already had covid infection, c.d.c. guidance strongly recommends you get vaccinated. it gives you longer lasting and more robust protection with the breadth and depth needed to conquer the variants in this country. to those who have already gotten vaccinated, i know
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you're watching the rise in cases and have questions about what it means for you. i know you're probably worried about two things. whether you will still get covid despite being vaccinated, and which activities are safe. let's start with the first concern. being fully vaccinated gives you a high degree of protection against infection and an even higher degree of protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. that is what the vaccines were designed for and what clinical trialed studied and the vaccines generally do their job quite well. these vaccines are some of the most effective we have in modern medicine and the good news is that current scientific evidence shows our current vaccines are working as they did in clinical trials even against the delta variant. importantly, our data show that infections are much less common in vaccinated people compare townd vaccinated and most illness in
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vaccinated individuals is asymptomatic or mild. the most important public health step is to increase the vaccination coverage in all communities in the u.s. and globally. there are places in this country where cases are high and cases caused by the delta variant are also really high and many of these areas have lower vaccine coverage. in areas with high vaccine coverage and low rates of disease transmission, the chances of you coming in close contact with someone who is infectious is relatively low. in contrast, in areas with low vaccine coverage and high transmission, there is a much higher chance of you coming in close contact with one or many persons who are infectious and in those cases the greatest risk is for those who are not fully vaccinated. whether you are vaccinated or not, please know, we, together, are not out of the woods yet. you will want to make thoughtful decisions to protect your health and
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the health of your family and your community. we are yet at another pivotal moment in this pandemic with cases rising again and some hospitals reaching their capacity in some areas. we need to come together as one nation, unified in our resolve to protect the health of ourselves, our children, our communities, our country, and our future with the tools we have available. with that, i will turn it over to dr. fauci. thank you. dr. fauci: thank you, dr. what lenscy. what i'd like to address for the next few minutes is the phenomena many have been speaking about lately and that is the occurrence of infection after full vaccination. so let's just give a bit of a background on the first slide. what do we mean by that? that is the detection of sars-cov-2 equal to or 14 days after completion of all recommended doses
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of what would be an f.d.a. e.u.a. authorized vaccine. it's porn to remember that infections after vaccination are expected. novak seen is 100% effective. however, even if a vaccine does not completely protect against infection it usually, if it's successful prork tects against serious disease. and that what i'd like to spend a moment on. if i could have the next slide. this is a slide that i put together several years ago in trying to describe the situation with vaccines against the standard childhood and adult diseases as well as the difficulty we were having with developing vaccines against h.i.v. when you think about vaccines being successful or unsuccessful, i.e., a failure, you really have to look at it in
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multiple subset sets. for example. one element of a successful vaccine is one in which there's no illness but there's no replication of the virus, no dissemination of the virus, and clearance of the virus. that is something that is an unusual feat for a vaccine to give truly what we call sterilizing immunity. then there's also within the framework of a successful vaccine one in which there's no clinical illness, but there is replication of the virus. it doesn't disseminate throughout the body. it stays at the level of entry. be that the upper airway, the g.i. tract or what have you. another element of a successful vaccine is one in which there might be mild illness that really does not interfere with the function of a person. it has replication.
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mild, very mild dissemination. but ultimately the virus is clear. you have a failure of a vaccine when actually you get frank disease. in other words, you haven't prevented the disease caused by the virus or the pathogen in question. in this place you get substantial replication, you get substantial dissemination and unless you have a lethal virus that kills the patient, ultimately the virus is cleared from the body. so what we are talking about when we talk about infection after vaccination, which is clearly being discussed now in the context of the delta variant, by no means does that mean that you're dealing with an unsuccessful vaccine. the success of the vaccine is based on the prevention of illness. so let's just look at that very briefly. next slide. these are the data i
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have shown you multiple times about the efficacy of the pfizer biontech, and moderna. 94%, 95% respectively. it's not 100% effective. next slide. the same holds true for the j&j which in the united states is 72% effective against clinically recognizable disease. not 100% effective. and so if you go to the last slide, what we're really dealing with is effectiveness against serious disease leading to hospitalization and in some cases death. since the delta variant is, as dr. walensky said, at 83% in the country, it's the one we're dealing with. even though we're seeing infection after vaccination, referred commonly to as breakthrough infections, the effectiveness against disease is still substantial. which is yet again
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another argument which all of us say continually, get vaccinated. it offers good protection against disease. with that, we'll go back to jeff. >> thank you both, dr. fauci and dr. walensky. it's clear we're experiencing what many other couldn't i -- countries are experiencing. increased case counts driven by the more transmissible delta variant. we are concerned with the rise in cases among the unvaccinate bud we are also clear that we are in a very different situation than we were early this year for three reasons. first and foremost, as dr. fauci just showed, our vaccines work. fully vaccinated individuals have a high degree of protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. while we will see some cases among those who are vaccinated, as to be
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expected with any vaccine, these cases are generally mild and oftentimes asymptomatic. which is just more proof that the vaccines work. in fact, unvaccinated individuals account for virtually all 97% -- virtually all, 9 97% of the covid hospitalizations and deaths in the united states. second, we have fully vaccinated 162 million americans including 82% of those most vulnerable, individuals 65 years and older. as a result, we have fundamentally changed the course of this pandemic. the threat is now predominantly only to the unvaccinated. the data is clear. the case increases are concentrated in communities with low vaccination rates. in fact, the counties with the highest case rates have significantly lower vaccination rates than counties with lower case rates.
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this week, just three states, florida, texas, and missouri, three states with lower vaccination rates, accounted for 40% of all cases nationwide. for the second week in a row, one in five of all cases occurring in florida alone. within communities, these cases are primarily among unvaccinated people. the third reason we're in a different situation than earlier in the year is that we're continuing to make more progress by increasing the number of vaccinated americans. importantly, states we e-- with the highest case rates are seeing their vaccination rates go up. in fact in the past week, the five states with the highest case rate, arkansas, florida, louisiana, nevada, had a higher rate of people getting newly vaccinated
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compared to the national average. this is a very positive trend. for the second week in a row, states with lower vaccination and higher case rates are seeing their vaccination rates grow faster than the national average. people in these states are feeling the impact of being unvaccinated and responding with action. across the country in the past 10 days more than 5.2 million americans have gotten a shot. so each day, hundreds of thousands of americans are choosing to protect themselves, their kids, and their neighbors by getting their first shot. and just as importantly, hundreds of thousand more are getting their second shot. on the way to being fully vaccinated. these americans are stepping up and doing their part. each shot matters. each additional person
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fully vaccinated is a step closer to putting this pandemic behind us. so we're making continued progress in our fight against the virus. today, we're announcing additional resources to get more shots in arms and combat surges, particularly in rural communities. at the president -- as the president said last night, unvaccinated americans know and trust people in their own communities. to help get them accurate information about vaccines and help answer their questions. today, we are announcing we are sending $100 million to rural health clinics to support vaccine education an outreach efforts in these communities where we are generally seeing low vaccine uptake. this funding made possible by the american rescue plan will provide nearly 2,000 rural health clinics the resources they need to better reach unvaccinated americans in their communities with information about
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covid-19 and the vaccines and answer their questions. as we work to get more shots in arms, we're also doubling down on our efforts to detect, prevent, and respond to outbreaks caused by the delta variant. testing and building testing capacity is a key part of our surge response because we know quickly detecting cases allows us to help prevent outbreaks and contain the virus. last week, we announced $400 million in american rescue plan funding for 1,540 small, rural hospitals to increase testing capacity in rural america. today, as part of our efforts to reach more vulnerable individuals who are making an additional -- we are making an additional $1.6 million investment in american rescue plan funding to bolster testing and mitigation measures in high-risk congress rah gant
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settings including homeless shelters, mental health and substance abuse treatment center, domestic violence shelters and prison systems. these resources will help local communities identify potential outbreaks before they happen and prevent the further spread of covid-19. our covid-19 surge response teams are also working with governors, local public health officials to identify specific needs on the ground and provide federal resources and support to fight outbreaks due to the spread of the delta variant. we are now providing c.d.c.'s technical expertise including on genetic sequencing, data analysis and outbreak response to missouri, illinois and colorado. fema will be deploying mobile vaccination clinics in north carolina. today, h.h.s. secretary becerra is traveling to nevada where we have
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deployed federal resources and 100 personnel from fema and h.h.s. to support local health officials as they work to mitigate the spread of delta and increase vaccinations. in closing, our whole of government response continues to do everything we can to get more americans fully vaccinated and protected from the virus and help states and communities curb the spread of the delta variant. as the president said last night, it's up to each and every single american to do their own part. we know everyone's vaccination journey is different. we are ready to get more americans vaccinated whenever, wherever they're ready. so please, if you are unvaccinated, consider vaccination today. it's free. it's available. it's easy. it works. and it's never, never
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been more important. with that, i turn it over to dr. murphy. dr. murphy: thank you, jeff. it's great to be with all of you again today. i'll start with the obvious, what we're all seeing in the numbers, it is troubling to see the rise in covid cases and it's another reminder that we're not out of the woods yet. but it's important to not lose sight of how far we have come. cases are down dramatically from their january peak when erp averaging 200,000 plus cases a day. we've gotten more than 161 million people fully vaccinated meaning they have a high degree of protection against covid-19 and every day, hundreds of thousands of people are still choosing to get vaccinated. that is all good news. one thing proven time and time again in the past year is that vaccines save lives. that's why 99.5% of covid-19 deaths and 97% of hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated.
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it's also why nearly every death from covid-19 is a preventable tragedy. i'd like to share a few updates about how we're continuing to support people in making their decisions about the vaccine. first, we are ramping up our work with trusted messengers in key communities. this summer we have seen people in every community stepping up to get their loved ones and neighbors vaccinated. that's been encouraging. these groups include faith communities, from the group choose healthy life which has worked with powerful networks, with 48 black churches in five city, test and vaccinate people. it also includes the american muslim and multifaith women empowerment council which engaged their communities through phone banking, text banking, social media, and door-to-door canvassing. health care officials have also been stepping up, having more conversations with patient, and earlier this sum they are ealpha chapter of the khi theta phi sorority
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had hundreds of thousands of conversations about vaccination at barbershops, grocery stores and other places throughout their communities. we are continuing to work with a student corps where students participate to learn best practices and hear from peers how to talk about vaccines with their friends, family and community members. we're working with platforms like twitch to answer users' questions about the vaccine. we're also increasingly asking vaccinated people to help get their family and friends vaccinated and the importance of this last item, family and friends talking to family and friends, is underscored by recent data which found that one out of five adults who were unsure about the vaccine in january have now been vaccinated and when asked what changed their mind it was talking to family, friends and their doctors and seeing the people they knew had been safely vaccinated. so we need to keep having these conversations. reminding people that vaccination is still the best way to keep our family and friends safe from the worst outcomes
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of covid-19. the second way that we're gaining ground against the virus is by addressing health misinformation. last week i issued a surgeon general's advisory to call the nation's attention to the threat of health misinformation. since then we've continued to emphasize what individuals can do to stop health misinformation in its tracks. that includes asking everyone raise their own bar for sharing health information by checking to make sure that it's backed by credible scientific sources. as we say in the advisory if you're not sure, don't share. we'll continue to say that on social media, in a video p.s.a. we've created and released, and in conversations we're convening with people around the country. we're also mobilizing other stake holders to address misinformation from technology companies and health care professionals to researchers and community-based organizations. right after this briefing, my office will be hosting a conversation with community organizations around the country to discuss the steps that they can take to stop
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the spread of health misinformation. here's the bottom line. misinformation is a threat to our health and the speed, scale and sophistication with which it is spreading is unprecedented. i will not hesitate to say that and call for greater accountability and action to address health misinformation. a word about equity though. we recognize that equity must be at the center of our work to confront health misinformation and here's why. because unequal access to the health care system, education, and technology means that some people have more limbed access to accurate information than others. and when those people instead encounter health misinformation it can worsen health outcomes which exas exacerbates inequities in which backs a vicious cycle. ultimately while the threat of the delta variant is here, while climbing infection rates are what we're seeing day-to-day though primarily among the nonvaccinated, it is more important than ever before we don't let our guard down.
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that's whiem i'm asking everyone talk to your family and friends about getting vaccinated. you could be saving their lives. that's the people power movement we have to expand in our country. we have made great progress thanks to the hard work of people across the country. we should not forget that and we should be proud of it. but we have more work to do to end the pandemic. i look forward to your questions and i'll turn it back to you, jeff. jeff: let's open it up for a few questions. i believe we're having trouble hearing the questions if the questions have begun.
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we're taking a minute to sort through this technical issue. >> hello. jeff: ok, we can hear. >> ok, great, thank you. this question is for dr. walens. last night president biden indicated that the vaccine may be approved for children under 12 as soon as august, september, or october. is there anything you can share about what led to that time frame? and what any preliminary data shows so far for children who are participating in clinical trials? and one more quick thing on this, do you anticipate approval will
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be for all children under 12 at once or likely be separated by age groups? dr. walensky: maybe i'll just say, we're looking at clinical trial data now. we're waiting for the data to come in. the approval of the data and authorization will be a regulatory, f.d.a. decision. after we have seen the clinical trial day tacker i have not seen them myself, but after we have seen them, they'll go to the f.d.a. for regulatory process of authorization. jeff: dr. fauci, anything to add there? we're having trouble hearing dr. fauci. dr. fauci: sorry, jeff. no, just to underscore what dr. walensky said, the clinical trials are in progress are doing age de-escalation, which
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relates to the second part. they'll do 12-9 years old, 9-6. 6-2. then six months to two years. the data being collected right now, this will be a regulatory decision based on the data that's accumulated. jeff: i'll reit mate what we've talked about before, the f.d.a. is the gold standard for vaccine review and approval, they'll run an independent and rigorous scientific process and when that process is complete, the american people can rest assured that the f.d.a. maintained its world class standard throughout this period. next question. >> i just want to make sure you can hear me. jeff: yes. >> this is a question for dr. fauci who talked about how effective the vaccines are at preventing severe illness. i'm curious if we know more about what the risk of breakthrough cases resulting in long covid
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is and given how recently people have been vaccinated, how long might it take to start identifying trends among possible long haul patients who have been vaccinated? dr. fauci: that's an object of intensive study right now, following individuals with various levels of seriousness of disease as to what the incidence and prevalence will be of long covid. we don't have enough we don't h information right now to give you an accurate number of what that incidence is but that's something that's being very actively followed right now. jeff: next question. reporter: "u.s.a. today." thanks so much for taking my call. this is a question for dr. walensky. i've been talking to epidemiologists and one of their concerns is that the c.d.c.'s masking policy lacked
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heat so most people took it to mean they didn't need to wear a mask at all. san francisco is now contemplating requiring proof of vaccination to get into bars and restaurants. other people have suggested that masking regulations change if cases go above five per 100,000. are there any thoughts in the works of either clarifying or changing c.d.c.'s masking policy? dr. walensky: thank you. you know, as we have said consistently, the greatest risk right now is to those who are unvaccinated. and we have consistently and repeatedly said, if you are unvaccinated, need to be wearing a mask to protect yourself and others around you. and we need more people to get vaccinated to stop this pandemic. so overall the c.d.c. recommendations haven't changed. fully vaccinated people are protected from severe illness. and we've always said that communities and individuals need to make the decisions that are right for them based on what's going on in their local areas. so if you're in an area that has a high rate and low rate of
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vaccination where delta cases are rising, you should certainly be wearing a mask if you're unvaccinated. if you are vaccinated, you get exceptional protection from the vaccine. you have the opportunity to make the personal choice to add extra layers of protection if you so choose. jeff: next question. "new york times." reporter: hi. can you hear me? jeff: yes. reporter: ok. thanks. this is for jeff probably. one specific and one general question. the specific question is, there was this report overnight about the white house discussing masks, discussing mask mandates in light of l.a. county's decision and the rise of the delta variant. can you, you know, tell us whether that report is correct? is the white house having high-level discussions about that? and then on a broader level, i wonder if you could sort of reflect on the moment that we're in compared to where we were just two or so weeks ago,
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you know, when the president welcomed sort of the world back to normal with the fourth of july party on the white house lawn and it felt like we were going in a very different direction. you know, how -- the president said yesterday he was frustrated by all of this. how much of a different place are we in and what does all this portend for everybody going back tole scoo and work in the fall? -- back to school and work in the fall? jeff: on masking i think you heard a strong summary from dr. walensky. and that's where we are. we will follow the science and public health guidance is made by dr. walensky and her team at the c.d.c. we will continue to follow the science and follow c.d.c. on mask guidance. or mask recommendations. i think the president captured it well last night and it's consistent with his message on july fourth.
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we've made significant progress with 162 million people fully vaccinated. and fully vaccinated people have a high degree of protection, even against the more transmissible delta variant. if you are not vaccinated, as the president spoke to unvaccinated people last night, and back on july 4, you need to get vaccinated or you do not have a high degree of protection for yourself, for your friends and for your family and your community. so we have made significant progress, we're in a very different place than we were several months ago. by getting 162 million people vaccinated. but we have a lot more work to do and unvaccinated people need to roll up their sleeve as soon as possible and begin their vaccination routine. time for a couple more questions. cnn. reporter: thanks so much. dr. walensky, i want to circle back on this just so we have complete clarity. is the c.d.c. considering right
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now changing its mask guidance for people who are fully vaccinated? dr. walensky: we are always looking at the data as the data come in. our guidance has been clear since we put it out several months ago. and that is, if you are unvaccinated, you should continue to wear a mask and protect yourself against others around you and, more importantly, you should go and get vaccinated to get better layers of protection. we have always said that communities, local communities have to look at what is going on locally, as we have very high-risk in this country right now. in areas that have a high amount of disease and low amounts of vaccinations, you know, if you're unvaccinated, you should absolutely be wearing a mask. if you're vaccinated, you have exceptional levels of protection from that vaccine and you may choose to add an extra layer of protection by putting on your mask and that's
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a very individual choice. that's been consistent with our c.d.c. guidance since we put it out. jeff: one more question. npr. reporter: thank you so much for taking my question. it's two questions but i'll make it quick. a lot of people who have gotten the j&j vaccine are wondering if they can or should get an mrna booster. i know it's not recommended that the time but are you recommending against it or should patients and their doctors make a decision about that? also, wanted to get an update in early june. you announced a plan to share 80 million doses globally. by the end of june. it's little -- the mid, late july. what's stopped you from meeting that goal? jeff: let's start with the j&j booster vaccine question. dr. fauci: thank you. the j&j vaccine, the data that i showed on the efficacy slide was one of the slides i showed,
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is a very effective vaccine. there is no reason to believe right now that people who have taken the j&j vaccine are in need of a booster dose of any sort. there are no data to indicate that that is the case. back to you, jeff. jeff: on the global front, as you know, the president has committed to sharing 580 million doses of vaccine to the world. half a billion doses of pfizer being donated to the 100 or so countries most in need. this is by far the largest ever donation of covid-19 vaccines by a single country. we shared the 80 million by the end of june and they have now shipped so they have -- they're in the air or they've arrived in the recipient country. and will continue to share tens of millions of doses across the summer months, beyond the 80 million.
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thank you for joining and we look forward to seeing everybody at the next briefing. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] >> the house committee investigating the january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol holds its first hearing tuesday. officers from the u.s. capitol police and washington metropolitan police department will tell members what they saw and experienced on that day. watch the hearing live tuesday beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3, online at, or listen with the free c-span radio app. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we're funded by these television companies and more. including charter communication. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions. building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us.


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