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tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  November 10, 2021 11:03am-11:40am EST

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>> sure, so i wonder, and this is what we're seeing from zoom here. i wanted to give you alan opportunity to react >> you can finish watching this program on our website. we will take you now to a briefing by the white house covid-19 response team. >> the vaccination program for kids is hitting full stride this week. this includes pediatricians and family doctors offices, pharmacies, odorant hospitals, community health centers, rural health clinics, and school-based clinics. while the program is just fully
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up and running this week, by the end of the day today, we estimate that over 900,000 kids age five through 11 will have already gotten their first shot. through pharmacies alone, 700,000 additional appointments are already on the calendar at local pharmacies. parents and families across the country are breathing giant size of relief. we are just getting started. we will continue to work with governors, local leaders, health care providers and others to build on this progress. minnesota has stood up more than 1100 locations for parents to get their kids vaccinated including at the mall of america , which is the biggest mall and -- in the country and it can now vaccinate 1500 children per day. across the country, children's
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hospitals are offering vaccinations and engaging their communities with many hosting family events including stickers, pets, and stuffed animals. we are helping states meet parents and kids where they are through mobile clinics from ashok, north carolina to florence, oregon. new york city has over 1000 clinics planned at schools including early-morning clinics before the work into school day begins. next, we remain focused on vaccinating unvaccinated individuals. looking at the last seven days alone, where averaging about 300,000 first shots per day. that is the highest seven-day total in almost one month.
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the simple truth is that vaccination requirements are working. vaccination requirements have helped reduce the number of unvaccinated americans ages 12 and older by almost 40% from about 100 million in late july to under 60 million now. vaccination requirements get more people vaccinated, strengthen our economy, and help continue us on our path out of the pandemic. next on booster shots. they add an important layer of protection. in total, over 25,000 americans -- 25 million americans have rolled up their sleeve to get the enhanced protection of a booster shot. the booster program is running strong. stepping back across the past week, we have administered over 9 million total shots in arms. 9 million.
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that is the highest one week total since for the summer, five months ago. it is clear that our efforts to help parents get their kids vaccinated, to vaccinate the unvaccinated, and to get boosters to eligible americans are driving significant progress in our battle against the pandemic. next on testing. today, we are taking another step to expand access to rapid diagnostic tests administered at auctor's offices, hospitals, and other health care settings. hhs is investing $650 million from the american rescue plan to provide manufacturers point-of-care diagnostic test so they can scale up their production. today's action builds on our 3 billion-dollar investment to
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provide at-home test, more over-the-counter test authorized by the fda, as well as other actions by the fda and nih will increase testing options and decrease prices for consumers. the bottom line, we have made significant progress on increasing overall testing capacity since late summer, including quadrupling the available supply of at-home test over 200 million per month starting next month. lastly, on ensuring our response is equitable and reaches the hardest hit immunities, the president's first day in office took steps around equity. he established the covid-19 equity task force. the president's leadership and our intentional, constant focus on equity has produced
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significant results. we have effectively closed gaps and adult vaccination rates by race and ethnicity. the most recent survey showed that 73% of like adults, 71% of white adults, and 77% of hispanic adults had gotten there first shot by mid-october. we have more work to do, but this is significant progress we can build on. earlier this morning, i received a final report from the health equity task force which will help us to just that. the report includes recommendations on how we can continue mitigating health inequities caused by covid-19 and further advance equity in our response. i want to thank the whole task force for their thoughtfulness and expertise in the development of this report. i especially want to thank dr.
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nuñez smith. >> thank you so much, jeff. good morning to everyone in it it's a pleasure to be here with you. equity has been at the center of president biden's covid-19 response team from day one. through our work these past months, we have shown the health equity is not just aspirational, it is achievable. today i had the privilege to submit the presidential health escorted -- health equity task force report to jeff. it is a manifestation of a vision that started by president biden. by way of origin, during the president's -- vice president last year in the senate, she created the blueprint for this task force. she knew that practitioners and
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leaders together can be powerful against the pandemic. the president also saw the critical importance of the focus on equity. just as jeff mentioned in the first full day in office, he issued that executive order. it called for a whole of government effort for prevention, treatment, and the response as a whole. it is that vision and leadership at the top that makes it possible for us to say today that the task force has done something that is truly powerful. the administration fully recognized that the most effective groups are the first to be forgotten especially when resources are in short supply. covid-19 made it clear that in this country, a person is a stronger driver of their health than their genetic code.
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we strove to overcome the structural drivers. the work of the task force systematically advanced 317 recommendations. 55 of are prioritized and highlighted in the body of the report. there are also actions that will help accelerate the vision for change. investing in community led solutions to address health equity is forcing an ecosystem that pushes health equity. investing in a representative health care workforce and increasing equitable access to quality health care for everyone. recognizing just the need for continued coordination and implementation of leadership of the task force recommendations,
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-- that a continue front equity infrastructure in the white house. this is a historic slate of recommendations and it is remarkable that they were developed within just eight months since our first meeting. i am also pleased to report that the administration has already begun action aligned with an estimated 80% of the prioritized recommendations. much of that action has been achieved through the white house covid-19 response and agency across the federal government underscoring whole of government commit to equity. the gaps that once existed in vaccination rates has closed. a survey completed at the end of october, these data tell the story of what is possible.
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this progress was made possible because we called on all of society to join us and they did. this is a reflection of the work of partners and communities across the country ensuring access, confronting misinformation, prioritizing vaccination uptake. meeting people where they are, leveraging existing resources, utilizing resources we provided through tax credits to grants to the vaccine itself. i am pleased to announce today that the u.s. department of health and human services will invest $785 million in rescue plan funding. those funds will support community-based organizations that are continuing to build back -- and support tribal
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communities. it will also protect individuals with disabilities from infection and the ramifications of the pandemic. it will allow us to continue our mission to build a more diverse and sustainable workforce and health care including a new apprenticeship program to train and prepare workers for long-term careers in public health. today's announcement is a direct response to the task force recommendations and also builds on the historic investments over the past 10 months. equity includes full participation by each one of us and i want to extend my deep appreciation to the task force members. that includes 12 members appointed by the president and the contributions they have bay to their communities as well as
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the eight federal members designated to represent their agencies across the federal government. it takes an entire team to support a presidential task force so thank you to the federal staff working tirelessly to accelerate our vision and the cdc foundation for its support. i want to extend my appreciation to the more than 100 experts who joined us, those who provided public comment. we could not walk this journey without you. health equity is mission-critical for the administration not just because it's the right thing to do. there is no credible path to a new normal without it. our nation has become the hard work to recalibrate, they must stay the course and calibrate the health equity journey. what you personally think president biden and vice president harris who continue to lead this task force.
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it has been a privilege to serve in that role. dr. walensky: good morning, everyone. i want to start with the data and provide you a closer look at the pandemic. the seven-day daily average of cases is hovering at 73,000 cases per day. the seven-day average of hospital admissions is i've thousand per day, also relatively stable. the seven-day average daily deaths are about 1000 per day which is a decrease of 11% from the previous week. last week, following the unanimous vote, i endorsed the strong recommendation that children five to 11 years old should be vaccinated with the pfizer pediatric covid-19 vaccine. this committee is comprised of medical and public health experts from across the country
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including pediatricians, professors, researchers, and chief medical officer's. as experts in their fields, they have collectively provided scientific guidance and trusted counsel throughout this pandemic . the committee members are also parents and grandparents who, after their vote, powerfully shared their personal excitement to vaccinate their own children and grandchildren, offering protection to those they love the most. the committee and i believe the safety and efficacy data supports getting our children vaccinated. this recommendation was further recognized and supported by the american academy of pediatrics and the american medical association. over the past week, i have been so encouraged by the stories and precious photos i have received personally and as seen in the media of children getting vaccinated. i am hearing from parents who
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are breathing a sigh of relief that the younger children ages five and up are able to be protected against covid-19 and i am seeing the joy in children who are excited to get vaccinated as a critical next step in getting their life back to normal. still, i hear questions from some parents. is the vaccine safe? what are the risks of covid-19? should i vaccinate my own child? today, i want to answer those questions. on this slide, we have a list of several vaccine preventable illnesses in children. cdc currently recommends vaccinating children against hepatitis a, miniature caucus, and veras sal. -- chickenpox. these decisions were made because the the of infections to our children. in the years prior to the recommendations for hepatitis a
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and other vaccinations, the average reported deaths from these infections were 3, 8, and 16 respectively. all of those numbers are far lower than 66. the number of deaths we have seen from covid-19 in children five to 11 over the past year. what is clear is that covid-19 poses a significant risk to our children with 2 million cases reported in children five to 11 since the start of the pandemic and 66 deaths over the past year as well as the risk of additional complications. while children remain more resilient than adults to this virus, they still remain at risk and with the help of vaccines, we can prevent covid-19 and many other diseases that were once fatal. covid-19 vaccines for children has the potential to protect more than our children's physical health. we have seen the ways the
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pandemic has spread to the social and emotional well-being of our children. for many children it has been a safe and enriching environment. many children have felt the effects of school closures, outbreaks among students and staff, and ultimately changes in their normal environment due to covid-19. at the beginning of the school year, i made it clear that it was our goal to return to in person learning. with our prevention strategies in place and vaccines now available together, we can help protect our children and keep them in school for in person learning. pediatric vaccination holds the promise of vaccination -- health for our children and their communities. and to the 60 million americans ages 12 to 16 who are not vaccination and the younger children who are now eligible, i encourage you to roll up your
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sleeves and get vaccinated today. dr. fauci: what i would like to do for the next couple of minutes in the context of a recent announcement from pfizer about an antiviral drug is to put this into some perspective and briefly outline for you where we are in our advances and our strategy in the development of antiviral therapy for covid-19. the underlying strategy is to identify vulnerable targets and what we call the replication cycle of the virus then to either screen or design drugs to inhibit those vulnerable targets. this slide looks somewhat complicated, but it simply tells us the big circle is the cell and the body such as in your
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airway. at each point, you see the small circle is the virus. there are processes within the replication cycle that are vulnerable to inhibitors such as those highlighted in yellow. let's take a look at one of these inhibitors. that is the polymerase inhibitors. a little while ago, merck together with rich back showed clinical data they announced of a very impressive placebo-controlled trial of around 1500 people in which they study -- stopped the study because the endpoint of preventing hospitalization or death was met in which there was a 50% decrease in hospitalizations or deaths in
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the treatment versus the perceived vote -- placebo and no death in the treatment arm. the federal government particularly the nih and the defense threat reduction agency, then the basic research funding to do the research that led to the company doing and ask ordinary job in developing these antiviral therapeutics. most recently, we hear of the development of a protease inhibitor. that is be ace inhibitor from pfizer. as you know, a few days ago, the results of a placebo-controlled trial of around 3000 people was done and a very impressive 89%
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reduction in hospitalizations or deaths was seen in the treatment arm compared to the placebo arm with 10 deaths in the placebo and no death in the treatment. this was an orally administered antiviral which when given within three to five days of the initiation and recognition of symptoms has this important clinical effect. the u.s. government did play a role in the development. early consultations with pfizer referring to researchers, providing screening methodology, in vitro testing, and that nih team generated the clinical trial protocol. all of this is good news in that we now have one with an eua and
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another is putting in for one with an authorization. although antivirals are promising, we must be sure to get our population vaccinated. antivirals as good as they are are not our first line of defense against covid-19. we all know it's much more important to prevent an infection then it is to treat. if a person gets infected, it is critical to get them treated. you saw the data that showed 50% to 89% -- in the risk of hospitalization. the way you get a 100% decrease in the risk of hospitalization is to not get infected in the first place.
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finally, get your booster shot when it is your turn. jeffrey: let's open it up for a few questions. >> first question, erica at nbc. >> i wanted to go back to the number of kids age five to 11 who have been vaccinated. where did those numbers come from? what was the source and is the cdc confirming those numbers? jeffrey: the program for kids age five to 11 is a new program with new sites and specialized doses being shipped out to those sites. many of the places that adults go to get vaccinated are not the right places for kids age five to 11.
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children's hospitals, pediatricians, family doctors. many of these are new locations and therefore it takes time for them to come online to begin to give doses. to estimate how many children have received a shot, we collected data directly from vaccine partners including the pharmacies and state and local health officials. we ran an analysis of those numbers including numbers that states are beginning to share publicly. based on the analysis and the gathering of the data points, we estimate conservatively that at least 900,000 children age five to 11 have received at least the first dose. our goal is to vaccinate as many kids as possible. this is the very beginning of the program. it is just getting up to full strength. we expect more and more kids to
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get vaccinated across time and 900,000 to the end of the day is a good start. next question. >> on children vaccinations, speaking to the expected pace, what is the capacity for how many shots into the five to 11-year-olds and do you expect the 900000 and one week to accelerate or is that what we should be expecting -- jeffrey: i would not think of 900,000 as the pace for the week because it is just the last couple of days where the doses have arrived and the 20,000 sites have stood up. it's a pace that is much more than 900,000 on a weekly basis. daily as we talk to states and
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their teams and the pharmacies, more and more sites are opening. like the mall of america that has the capacity to vaccinate 1500 kids per day. the mobile clinics that are being deployed across the country. the pace will be increasing across the next several days and couple of weeks. we have plenty of supply for all 28 million kids between the ages of five and 11. we have 20,000 sites with more coming online. we expect the pace to consent -- to continue to accelerate. >> states like colorado have urged everyone over 18 to get boosters. we have repeatedly heard from the team that we are not going to boost our way out of the pandemic.
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will this approach work? do you encourage other states to do this and have the winter? dr. walensky: we want to give everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated who has not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated. that is the most important in terms of preventing hospitalizations and deaths. for those who are eligible now, we would absolutely encourage that they get boosted. over the age of 65, those with comorbid conditions and those in high-risk settings. then to get our adolescence vaccinated and our younger population, the newly eligible five to 11-year-olds. that will help us in preventing some of the surges you are hearing about. the fda is currently looking at the data for expanding boosters to all populations. jeffrey: more than 25 million
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americans have rolled up their sleeves and gotten a booster. that is a very strong start. for the pfizer eligible 65 and older, because as you know pfizer was recognized -- authorized several weeks ago, close to half of those who are eligible 65 and older have gotten there booster. that is real progress. this month, we are averaging close to 800,000 booster shots in arms per day. that is up about 50% from october. lots of progress. we encourage everyone who is eligible to get there booster soon. next question. >> you talked about how hard it is to put a number on the vaccinations needed to reach herd immunity.
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now the number will be determined. can you clarify the goal behind the workplace mandates? is the goal to keep more workers healthy and on the job, keep the hospitals clear or is it to decrease transmission in and around the workplace given that shots provide some level of protection against infection but that took a hit from the delta wave? jeffrey: it's all of the above and i will turn to the doctors for what they would like to add. covid has had a real impact on the workplace. a significant it -- increase in -- decrease in absenteeism. there are many people not in the workforce because of covid. childcare needs or health concerns. it is really important that people feel like they have a safe and healthy work environment and people being vaccinated or tested a minimum
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of once per week is important for workplace safety for our economy and in this pandemic. dr. fauci: as jeff said, it truly is all of the above. we want to keep people out of the hospitals and prevent them from going onto the severe outcome of death. you also want to diminish infections in individuals. no vaccine is 100% infective -- protective against infection. the biggest disruption of the workplace is when people get covid. that is why we want to do everything we can to keep the workplace flow at its normal level by preventing disease. it is for that reason why it's so important to get the workers as well as everybody else vaccinated. the bottom line is, it is all the above where trying to do.
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jeffrey: last question. >> thank you for doing this call. the president set out a goal of having 70% of adults one shot but to live forth. -- by july 4. do you have a specific goal for children and a timeframe by which you would like to get a certain percentage of the 28 million vaccinated? when will the cdc have actual numbers to report? that is one question. separately, we have not heard about variants and i wonder which ones are on the horizon or what concerns you going into the winter? dr. fauci: right now, the delta
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variant still overwhelmingly dominates with greater than 99% of them. we always keep our eye out for any variant out there to determine whether or not it is overtaking and prevalence or not. women get a new variant, we always do new studies to see whether or not they evade or not monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma or the antibodies that are induced by vaccines. right now, our problem is the delta variant. as well as the fact that we are very alert and looking out for the emergence of other variants. jeffrey: on kids, i want to emphasize that we have plenty of supply for all children age five to 11. now we have 20,000 trusted sites
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that parents and kids are used to going to and feel comfortable. there are lots of locations and appointments can be scheduled at many of these locations. also many are available for walk-up. we are set up to continue to vaccinate more and more kids age five to 11. we are off to a strong start with 900,000 kids having received their first shot. 700,000 appointments already scheduled at pharmacies alone. we want to make sure we answer questions that parents or kids might have about the vaccine to get as many kids vaccinated soon as possible. dr. walensky? dr. walensky: as you noted, there is a bit of data delay. we are working actively with the states to have those come in
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with our children hospital and pediatric partners. jeffrey: thank you, everyone. >> today, they testify on veterans hunger. live coverage begins at 12 p.m. eastern. tonight, nasa launches a spacex crew to the international space station. live coverage begins at 8 p.m. on c-span. c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies, including comcast. >> this is way more than a community center. >> comcast is partnering with
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more than 1000 community centers so students can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. >> comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these other providers giving you a seat to democracy. is david wasserman. he's the senior editor focusing on the u.s. house for the cook political report. thank you for being with us. i just want to begin with the latest of how the odds are looking for the parties heading into 2022 from your analysis. there are 68 vulnerable seats for democrats in the house. and 30 vulnerable seats for republicans. and four tossup races. how is it looking, david wasserman? what's the lay of the land? guest: republicans are the clear favorites for house control in 2022. there are going to be fewer competitive races in that by the time redistrictings

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