tv White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing CSPAN November 10, 2021 3:15pm-3:53pm EST
events live or on-demand any time, anywhere on our new mobile video app, c-span now. access highlights and listen to c-span radio and discover new podcasts for free. download c-span now today. >> up next, the white house covid-19 response team gives an update on vaccinating adults and young children to combat the virus. dr. fauci, cdc director rochelle walensky and other officials take part in this briefing.
>> vaccination a program for kids is hitting. this week. with 20,000 trusted and convenient locations coming online. this includes pediatricians and family doctors offices, pharmacies, children's hospitals , community health centers, rural health plans and school-based clinics. while our program is just fully up and running this week, by the end of the day today, we estimate over 900,000 kids ages five through 11 will have already gotten their first shot. through pharmacies alone, seven hundred thousand additional appointments are already on the calendar local pharmacies. parents and families across the country harper even giant size of relief and we are just getting started.
we will continue to work with governors, local leaders and health care providers and others to build on this virus. minnesota has stood up more than 1100 locations for parents to get their kids vaccinated. including at the mall of america , the biggest mall in the country and now home to a site that can vaccinate 1500 kids a day. across the country, 114 children's hospitals are now offering vaccinations and engaging communities. with many hosting family-friendly vaccination events featuring stickers and stuffed animals. we are helping states meet parents and kids where they are through fema supported mobile clinics in asheville, north carolina. in this week alone, new york city has over 1000 clinics planted schools including early morning our clinics before the work and school day began.
next in addition to the new program for kids ages five to 11, we remain focused on vaccinating unvaccinated individuals. looking at the last seven days alone, we are averaging about 300,000 shots per day. that is the highest seven day total in all most a month. the simple truth is vaccination requirements are working. in fact, 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, which add
an important player of protection. in total over 25 million americans have no rolled up their sleeves to get the enhanced protection of a pfizer, moderna, or j&j boost. our boosters program is running strong. stepping back across this past week, we've administered over 9 million total shots in the arms. 9 million shots in arms, the highest one week total since before the summer five months ago. it eased clear that our efforts to help parents get their kids vaccinated, to vaccinate the unvaccinated into get boosters to eligible americans are driving significant progress for a battle against the pandemic. next on testing. today we are taking another step to expand access to rapid diagnostic tests administered at doctors offices, hospitals and
other health care settings. hhs is investing $650 million from the american rescue plan to provide manufacturers a point-of-care diagnostic test, advanced purchase commitments so that these manufacturers can scale up their production. this action builds on our 3 billion-dollar investment to increase the production of at-home tests. for new over-the-counter at-home tests authorized by the fda since the start of october. as well as other actions by the fda and nih that will increase testing options and decrease prices for consumers. the bottom line is we face significant progress on increasing overall spending capacity since late summer, including by quadrupling the available supply of at-home tests over 200 million per month. starting next month.
last, on ensuring our response is equitable and reaches the hardest hit communities and those most at risk. at its first full day in office, the president took historic steps to center our covid-19 response around equity and he established the covid-19 health equity task force. the president's leadership and our intentional constant focus on equity has produced significant results. we have effectively closed gaps in adult vaccination rates by raising rates. most recent kaiser family foundation survey showed 73% of black adults, 72 percent of white adults and 70% of hispanic adults have gotten at least their first shot by october. we know we have more work to do, but this is significant progress to build on. earlier this morning i received a final report from the covid-19
health equity task force which will help us do just that. the report includes recommendations of how we can continue mitigating health equities caused by covid-19 and further advance equity in a response. i want to thank the whole task force for the thoughtfulness and expertise in the development of this invaluable report. and i especially want to thank dr. smith for her outstanding leadership. with that let me turn it over to dr. nunez smith. >> good morning everyone. a pleasure to be with you. equity has been at the center of president biden's covid-19 response from day one and through our work these past 10 months we have shown how inequity is not -- how equity is achievable.
today i had the privilege to submit the presidential covid-19 health equity task force final report. it is a manifestation of ambition -- a vision that started with president biden. during the vice president's year in the senate she introduced a bill that became the blueprint for this task force. she knew then the voices of public health experts, practitioners and community leaders together could be a powerful driver for health equity in this pandemic. the president also saw the critical importance of this focus on equity, just as jeff mentioned, that very principle -- very first day in office, he issued an order that called for government efforts to reduce inequity in covid-19 prevention, treatment and across the board as a whole. it is that leadership at the top that makes it possible that this
task force has done something that is surely powerful. the administration fully recognized the most effective groups -- neglected groups are the most first to be forgotten. covid-19 made it clear in this country a person -- so we start out to finally acknowledge and address those social and structural drivers rooted in what is what is fair. this group systematically advanced 313 recommendations, 55 of those are prioritized and highlighted in the body of the final report along with five proposed priority actions with what accelerate that vision for change. investing community led solutions to address health equity. in forcing a data ecosystem that
promotes equity driven decision-making. increasing accountability for health equity outcomes. investing in a representative health care workforce and increasing equitable access to quality health care for everyone. and recognizing the need for continued coordination and implementation and leadership of those task force recommendations. that that work continue in the white house. this is a historic slate of recommendations and it is remarkable they were developed really within just eight months since our first meeting. i am also extremely -- extraordinarily pleased to report the administration has already begun action online within 80% of the prioritized recommendations. much of that has been achieved through the white house covid-19 response and agencies across --
and hospitals but up and underscoring that. the gap among black, white and latin adults has closed. the latest cdc survey completed at the end of october, from the kaiser foundation, from the pew research center, these data collectively tell the story of what is possible. they can commit to equity at the center. progress was made possible because we called on society to join us and they did. this is a reflection of the work of partners and communities across the country ensuring access, prioritizing vaccination uptake. every step of the way meeting people where they are, leveraging and boosting resources, utilizing the resources provided, to the vaccine itself.
it's going to push us further, i'm pleased to announce u.s. department of health and human services will invest 785 million dollars in american rescue plan funding. those funds will support community-based organizations that are continuing to build back across, unity's of color, unity's of color, rule areas. those funds will support tribal communities leading the way in mitigating the spread of the virus. we will also protect individuals with disabilities from infection and the ramifications of the pandemic. we will allow to continue our mission to build a more diverse and sustainable help -- public health workforce including by establishing a new innovative apprenticeship program to prepare them for high skilled long-term careers. today's funding announcement are directly responding to the task
force recommendation. they also build already awarded for programs and initiatives for the past 10 months. advancing equity requires more participation by each one of us and i want to extend my appreciation to the remarkable task force members including the 12 members appointed by the president for the contributions they made to their community as well as the eight federal officials designated to represent their agencies across the federal government. it takes an entire team of the task force so think it to the federal team that works tirelessly to elevate our vision and the foundation for their support. i want to extend my appreciation to the more than 100 subject matter experts who joined us, the callous number of stakeholders who provide public comment. we could not have done this without you.
not simply because it's the right thing to do. there's no credible path to a new normal without it. our nations be on the hardware to recalibrate peer we must accelerate the health equity journey. as i close i want to thank president biden and vice president harris with the opportunity to lead this historic task force. it has been an honor and privilege to serve in that role. with that i will turn it over. >> good morning everyone. i want to start with the data and provide you a closer look at the current state of the pandemic. the current daily average in cases is hovering at about 73,300 cases per day. the seven day average of hospital admissions is about 5000 per day. also relatively stable from the previous week. seven day average daily deaths
are about 1000 per day which is a decrease of about 11% from the previous week. last week following the unanimous vote, i endorsed their strong recommendation for children five to 11 years old should be vaccinated with the pfizer pediatric covid vaccine. this committee is comprised of medical and public health experts from across the country including pediatricians, professors, researchers and chief medical officers. as experts in their respective field, 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 most. the voting members of the committee and i agree the
available 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've been so encouraged by the stories and precious photos i received personally and seen in the media of children getting vaccinated. i'm hearing from parents who are breathing a sigh of relief that their younger children ages five and up are now able to be protected against covid-19 and i've seen 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 some of those questions for you. on this slide we have a list of
several vaccine preventable illnesses in children. cdc currently recommends vaccinating children against hepatitis -- hepatitis a and the virus that causes chickenpox. these decisions were made because of the risk of the infections to our children. in fact as you can see here in the years prior to the recommendation for hepatitis a and vera sell a vaccination, the average actual reported deaths from these was three, eight, and 16 respectively. all of those numbers are far lower than 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 more than 2 million cases reported in children ages 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 the 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 vaccines for children have the potential to protect more than just our children's physical health. we have seen the ways this pandemic has threatened the social and emotional well-being of our children. for many children who have a safe and enriching environment, many children have felt the effects of school closures, outbreaks among students and school staff and ultimately changes in their normal school environment to covid-19. at the beginning of the school year i made it clear it was our goal to return to in person learning. with our prevention strategy in place and with vaccines now
available together, we can help protect our children and keep them in schools for in person learning. pediatric vaccination holds the promise of protection for our children, their families and our communities. to the 60 million americans ages 12 and older and the 28 million children ages five to 11 who are eligible, i encourage you to roll up your sleeves and get vaccinated today. i will now think -- i will not turn things over to dr. fauci. >> what i would like to do for the next couple of minutes in the context of the recent announcement from the pfizer company about an antiviral drug is to put this into some perspective and briefly outline for you where we are in our advances and strategy in the development of antiviral therapy from covid-19. the underlying strategy is to identify vulnerable targets in
what we call the replication cycle of the virus and then to either screen, but importantly to design drugs to inhibit those vulnerable targets. this is a slide of that looks somewhat complicated but it really simply tells us the big circle is the cell in the body such as the cell in your upper airwave -- upper airways, pharynx and lungs. you see the smaller 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. that is the full, raise inhibitor. as we know, just a little while ago, the merck company together with rich back showed clinical
data that they announced of a very impressive placebo-controlled trial of around 1500 people in which the dsm b stopped the study after 700 75 people because the end point of preventing hospitalization or death was net -- met in which there was a 50% decrease in hospitalizations or death in the treatment versus the placebo on and no deaths in the treatment arm. of note, the federal government, particularly the nih and the defense threat reduction agency did the basic research funding in academic institutions like the university of north carolina and vanderbilt and the university of alabama to do the research that led to the companies doing an extraordinary job in developing these
antiviral therapeutics. now most recently we hear of the development of a -- inhibitor. and that is the inhibitor from pfizer company. again as you know, just a few days ago, the results of a priest -- placebo-controlled trial was done in a very impressive 89% reduction in hospitalizations or deaths was seen in the treatment arm compared to the placebo arm with 10 deaths in the placebo arm and none in the treatment arm. this is an orally administered antiviral, similar to remdesivir. which given within days of the
symptoms as an clinical effect. the u.s. government did play a role in the development. for example, early consultations with pfizer referring to researchers providing screening methodology, in vitro testing, and the nih led accelerating covid-19 therapeutic intervention or active pain generator the clinical trial. so all of this is good news and that we now have one that already has the eua and one putting in for the ua to have an orally administered antiviral therapy. i want to close with the last slide which is an important message. 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. because we all know is much more
important to prevent an infection than it is to treat. obviously if a person gets infected is critical to get them treated. he saw the data that showed 50% to 89% diminution in the risk of hospitalization. away you get a 100% decrease in the risk of hospitalization eased to not get infected in the first place. finally, get your booster shot when it is your turn. back to you. >> thank you dr. fauci. let's open it up with a few questions. >> we only have time for a few today. first let's go to eric edwards at nbc. -- erica edwards at nbc. >> i want to go back to the number of kids who have been vaccinated. where does this number come from? what is the source and is the cdc confirming those numbers?
>> thank you for that question. the program for kids five to 11 is a new program with new sites and specialized business being shipped out to those sites. many of the places that adults go to get vaccinated are not places for kids ages five to 11 so we are bringing on the 20,000 sites we talked about including children's hospital, family doctors. so many of these are new locations and therefore it takes time for them to come online, to begin to give doses to kids and also to begin to report. to estimate how any five to 11-year-olds received a first shot, we collected data directly from vaccine partners include the pharmacies and state and local and health officials. we ran an analysis of those numbers, including numbers that
states are beginning to share publicly. so some states have them on their website public information. paste on the gathering of all these data points, we estimate conservatively that at least 900,000 children ages five to 11 have received at least their first dose. our goal is to vaccinate as many kids as possible. the program is just getting up to full strength as we talked about this week. we expect more and more kids to get vaccinated across time. 900,000 shots in arms by the end of the day is a good start. >> zeke miller, ap. >> also one kid vaccinations, i'm hoping you can speak to the expected pace, what is the capacity right now or how money shots can you inject into the arms of those five to 11-year-olds and do you expect that 900 thousand a week paste to accelerate or is that -- pace
to accelerate? >> i would not think of 900,000 as the pace for a week because it's really just the last couple of days where the doses have arrived at -- and 20,000 sites have stood up. i think it's a pace much more than 900,000 on a weekly basis. as we talk to states and their teams, more and more sites are opening. like the mall of america site i mentioned that has the capacity to vaccinate 1500 kids a day, the mobile clinics being deployed across the countries of the pace will be increased across the next several days and the next couple of weeks. i think we have as we talked about plenty of supply for all 28 million kids between the ages of five and 11. we have 20,000 sites stood up
with more coming online. we expect the paste against -- accelerate in the coming days and weeks. >> thanks for taking my question. states in colorado have urged everyone over 18 to get boosters as cases spike. we have heard from this team we are not going to boost our way out of the pandemic, i wonder will this approach worked, do you encourage other states to do this ahead of the winter? >> thank you so much for that question. first and foremost we want to get everybody eligible to be vaccinated who has not been vaccinated to get vaccinated. that's the most important nibs of preventing hospitalizations. for those eligible for a booster now we encourage that they get boosted. certainly those with comorbid
conditions and people who work and live in high-risk settings. and then i would say to really get her adolescence vaccinated and our younger population, of the eligible five to 11-year-olds. i think that will very much help us in preventing some of these surge in centers people hear about. the fda looking at the data for expanding boosters to all populations. >> just to add a few numbers. more than 25 million americans have rolled up their sleeves. for the pfizer eligible 65 and older, as you know pfizer was authorized the fda and cdc earlier several weeks ago. close to half of those who are eligible have gotten there booster so that's real progress. this month so far we are averaging close to 800,000 booster shots in arms per day.
that's up about 50% from october. lots of progress and we encourage everyone who is eligible to get there booster soon. next question please. >> tom howell. >> you talked about how hard it is to put a number on the vaccination needed for here -- for herd immunity. i want to know if you can clarify scientific goals behind workplace mandates, is the goal to keep more workers healthy and on the job, keep offices clear and running or is the goal to decrease transmission in and around the workplace given the shots provide some level of protection against infection but that took a bit of a hit in the delta wave. >> i think it is all of the above and i will turn to dr. fauci and dr. walensky that they would like to add.
covid has had a real impact on the workplace and a significant increase in absenteeism, sick days, people getting infected at work. there are many people who are not in the labor force because of covid, childcare needs or health concerns. so it's really important people feel like they have a safe and healthy work environment and people being vaccinated along the lines of the osha rule, being tested at a minimum once a week. it's important for safety and our economy and for us meeting this pandemic. anything to add there? >> it truly is all of the above. obviously we want to keep people out of the hospital and prevent them from going on to the severe outcome of death, but you will also diminish infections in individuals. obviously no vaccine is 100% protective against infection but you do go a long way.
as we have all said, the biggest disruption of the workplace is when people get covid and that's the reason why we want to do everything we can to keep the workplace flow at its normal level of preventing disease. it's for that reason why it is so important to get the workers as well as everybody else vaccinated. the bottom line is it is all of the above we are trying to do. >> last question. >> let's go to cheryl at the new york times. >> thanks for doing this call. i have a couple of questions. first, the president set out a goal of having 70% of adults get at least one shot before july 4, so i'm wondering do you have a specific goal for kids and a timeframe by which you would like to get a certain percentage of the 28 million vaccinated?
and also, when will the cdc have actual numbers to report? separately, we have not heard that much about variants and i wonder which ones are on the horizon and what concerns you have for the winter. >> right now, the delta variant still overwhelmingly dominates the isolates in our country with greater than 99% of them. we always keep our eye out for any variant that is out there to determine whether or not it is overtaking in prevalence or not and when we do get a new variant, we always do studies to see whether or not they either or not monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, or the antibodies that are induced by vaccines.
but right now, our problem is the delta variant without a doubt. as well as the fact that we are very alert in looking at -- out for the emergence of other variants. >> on kids, i want to emphasize we have plenty of supply for all 28 million kids ages five to 11. now we are at 20,000 sites, trusted sites that parents and kids are used to going to and feel comfortable. there's lots of locations and appointments to be scheduled at many of these locations, also locations are open for a in many locations. we are set up to continue to vaccinate more and more kids ages five to 11. we are off to a strong start. 900,000 kids already having received their first shot, 700 thousand appointments already scheduled a local pharmacies alone. we just want to make sure we
answer any questions, continue to answer questions that parents or kids might have about the vaccine to get as many vaccinated as soon as possible. on the data question. >> i don't have much to add there. there's a bit of a data delay in terms of getting those. while working actively with the states with our pharmacy partners and pediatric and children's hospital partners. >> i want to thank everybody for today's briefing and i look forward to the next one. thank you. >> coming up at 4:10 p.m. eastern today, we will have live coverage of president biden's remark from the port of baltimore. he is expected to discuss the impact of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. that is a 4:10 eastern on c-span. >> today we come together as we do to expose we shine a
spotlight on the prevention of veteran suicide. it is work that requires the collective of us all. scientists, researchers, policymakers, advocates, families, caregivers, survivors and loved ones. the work we all do every day all year long to prevent veteran suicide is vital. we talk a lot about systems of care for the crisis. for example, a key part of my pack which would ensure any veteran can receive free stabilization care at or paid for by the v.a.. >> in september, government officials testified on veteran suicide prevention before the house veterans of committee. it included the impact of the afghanistan withdrawal on
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