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tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  November 10, 2021 4:50pm-5:29pm EST

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to the international space station tonight. we will see everything. remarks from bill nelson to the lunch. our live coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, online, or on our new video app. ♪ ♪ >> next, the white house
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covid-19 response team gives an upright -- an update on efforts to vaccinate children. >> good morning. thanks for joining us. today, i will begin with a progress report. we are making important progress in our fight against the virus. vaccinations, testing, and ensuring our response is equitable and reaches the hardest hit communities and those most at risk. on vaccinations, or program for kids five through 11 is hitting for strength, with 20,000 trusted and convenient locations coming online. this includes pediatricians, pharmacies, children's hospitals , community health centers, rural clinics, and school-based
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clinics. while our program is just fully up and running this week, by the end of the day today, we estimate that over 900,000 kids five through 11 will have already gotten their first shot. through pharmacies alone, 700,000 additional appointments are already on the calendar. parents and families across the country are breathing giant size of release. we are just getting started. we will continue to work with governors, local leaders, health care providers, others to build on this progress minnesota has set up more than 1100 locations for parents to get their kids vaccinated, including at the mall of america. it is now home to a site that can vaccinate 1500 kids a day.
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across the country, 114 children's hospitals are now hosting family-friendly vaccination events, featuring stickers, pets, and stuffed animals we are helping states meet parents and kids where they are through fema supported mobile next from north carolina to oregon. this week, new york city has over 1000 clinics planned in schools, including early morning our clinics before the school day begins. next, we remain focused on vaccinating unvaccinated individuals. looking at the last seven days alone, we are averaging about 300,001st shots per day.
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that is the highest seven-day total in almost a month. the simple truth is that vaccination apartments are working. in fact, vaccination requirements have helped reduce the number of unvaccinated americans by almost 40%. 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 an important layer of protection. in total, over 25 million americans have rolled up their sleeve to get the enhanced protection of a boost. our boosters program is running strong. stepping back across the past week, we have administered over
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9 million total shots. that is the highest one week total since five months ago. it is clear that our efforts to help parents get kids vaccinated , to vaccinate the unvaccinated, and yet boosters to eligible americans are driving significant progress. next, on testing. today, we are taking a step to expand access to rapid diagnostic tests at doctors offices, hospitals, other settings. hhs is investing $650 million from the american rescue plan to provide manufacturer's advanced purchase commitments so that they can scale up production. today's action builds on our $3
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billion to increase the production of at-home tests. other actions by the fda and nih will increase testing options and decrease prices. the bottom line -- we have made significant progress on increasing overall testing capacity since late summer, including by quadrupling the available supply of at-home tests starting next month. last, on ensuring that our response reaches the hardest hit communities and those most at risk. on his first full day in office, president took historic steps to center our response around equity. he established the covid health equity task force. the president's leadership and
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our focus on equity has produced significant results. it has effectively closed gaps in adult vaccination rates. for those reasons, kaiser family foundations surveys shows that 73% of black adults, 72% of white adults, and 70% of hispanic adults and gotten their first shot -- at least their first shot by october. earlier this morning, i received a final report from the health equity task force, which will help us do just that. the report includes recommendations on how we can continue mitigating health inequities caused by covid. i want to thank the whole task force for their thoughtfulness and expertise in the development
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of this invaluable report. i especially want to thank dr. nunez smith for her outstanding leadership. >> thank you. good morning to everyone. it is a pleasure. as jeff just noted, equity has been at the center of president biden's response from day one. through our work, we have shown that health equity is not just aspirational. it is achievable. today, i did have the privilege to submit the residential covid report to jeff. the report is a manifestation of a vision that started with president biden and with vice president harris. by way of origin, during the vice president's last year in the senate, she introduced a
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bill that became the blueprint for this task force. she knew that it can be a powerful driver for health equity. >> the administration fully recognized that the most affected groups are often 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. we set out to find ways to
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acknowledge and overcome those social, structural drivers and forge a path forward rooted in what is fundamentally fair. the work of the task force -- dramatically advanced 300 17 recommendations, 55 are prioritized and highlighted in the body of the final report along with five proposed actions that will accelerate that vision for change. investing in 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 our representative health care workforce and increasing equitable access to quality health care for everyone. in recognizing the need for continued coordination in leadership of those job force
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recommendations, the -- is that work continues from an equity infrastructure -- the white house. this is an historic slate of recommendations. it is remarkable they were developed in just eight months since our first meeting. i am also extraordinarily pleased to report to the administration has already begun action aligned with an estimated 80% of the prioritized recommendations. much of that action has been achieved with the covid-19 response in agencies across the federal government, underscoring the whole of government commitment to equity. as jeff noted, the gaps that once existed in vaccination rates among blacks and rice has closed. the latest survey that was completed at the end of october -- data we have seen from the kaiser family foundation and the pew research foundation.
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these data collectively tell the story of what is possible when we begin to commit to equity at the center. this progress was made possible because we called on all 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. every step of the way, meeting people where they are, leveraging and utilizing resources provided from tax credits to grants to the vaccine itself. a push further, i am pleased to announce the u.s. department of health and human services will invest $785 million in american rescue plan funding. those funds will some more -- support community-based organizations continuing to build -- across communities of color, rural areas and low
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income populations. -- 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. it will allow us to continue our mission to build a more diverse and sustainable public health workforce including establishing a new innovative apprenticeship program to train thousands of our covid-19 community health workers and prepare them for high skilled, long-term careers in public health spirit today's announcement are directly responsive to the task force's recommendation and they also build on the historic investments we have already awarded for equity focused programs and initiatives. -- requires full partition -- i want to extend my deep appreciation to the remarkable task force members that includes the 12 members appointed by the
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president to the contributions they made to their communities as well as the eight federal members designated to represent their agencies across the federal government. it takes an entire team to support a presidential task force. thank you to the federal task team that worked to elevate our vision and to the foundation for its support. i want to express my appreciation to the more than 100 subject matter experts that droid the countless number of stakeholders who provided public comments, and attended reefs. we could not have walked this journey without you. it is mission-critical for the biden and ministry, and not simply because it is 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. we must stay the course and accelerate the journey. as i close, i want to thank president biden and vice
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president harris for the opportunity to lead this task force. it has been a co-honor and privilege to serve in that role. with that, i will turn it over. >> thank. the current seven day average of cases is hovering at 73,300 the seven day average of hospital admissions is about 5000 per day , relatively stable from the previous week. seven day average daily deaths are 1000 per day, a decrease of 11% from the previous week. last week, following aci te unanimous vote, i endorsed their strong recommendation that children five to 11 years old should be vaccinated with the pfizer pediatric covid-19 vaccine. this committee is comprised of
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medical and public health experts from across the country including pediatricians, professors, researchers and chief medical officer's. as experts in their field, they have collectively provided scientific guidance and trusted counsel throughout the pandemic. the committee members are also parents and grandparents, who after their vote, powerfully share 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 -- and efficacy data support 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 encouraged by the stories and photos i have received personally and seen in the media
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of children getting vaccinated. i am hearing from parents who are breathing a sigh of relief that their children ages five and up are able to be protected against covid-19. 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 parents. is the vaccine safe? what are the risks? 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 a, miniature caucus, and the virus that causes chickenpox. these decisions were made because of the risk of these infections to our children. as you can see, hepatitis a and
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other vaccinations, the average annual reported infections were 3, 8 and 16. the number of deaths we have seen from covid-19 in children 5-11 over the past year. it is clear is that covid-19 poses a significant risk to our children with more than 2 million cases reported in children five to 11 since the start of the pandemic and 66 deaths 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. with the help of vaccines, we can prevent covid-19 and many other diseases that were once fatal. covid-19 vaccines for children have the potential to protect
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more than just our children's physical health. we have seen the ways this pandemic have threatened the social and emotional well-being of our children. for many children, school has been a safe environment. this past year and a half, many children have felt the effects of school closures, outbreaks, and changes to their normal school environment. at the beginning of the school year, i made it clear it was our goal to return to in person learning. with our prevention strategies in place and with vaccines now available together, we can protect our children and keep them in school for in person learning. pediatric vaccination holds the promise of protections for our children, their families and our communities. to the 60 million americans ages 12 and under who are not yet vaccinated, and to the 28 million children five to 11 now
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eligible, i encourage you to get vaccinated today. thank you. dr. fauci: thank you dr. walensky. what i would like to do in the context of a recent announcement from the pfizer company about an antiviral drug, is to put this in some perspective and briefly outline where we are in our advances and our strategy in the development of antiviral therapies to covid-19. the underlying strategy is to identify vulnerable targets in what we call the replication cycle of the virus, then either screen or design drugs to inhibit those vulnerable targets. this is a slide that looks complicated, but it simply tells us the big circle is the cell in the body, such as a cell in your
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upper airway. at each point, 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. entry inhibitors. let's take a look at one of these. that is the pulmonary inhibitor. a little while ago, the merck company together with rich back showed clinical data they announced a very impressive placebo-controlled trial of around 1500 people in which the dsm b stopped the study after 775 people because the end point of preventing hospitalization or death was met. in which, there was a 50%
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decrease in hospitalizations or death in the treatment, versus the placebo with eight deaths in the placebo and no deaths in the treatment. the federal government, particularly the nih, did the basic research funding in academic institutions like the university of north carolina and vanderbilt and the university of alabama at birmingham to do the research that led to the company doing an extraordinary job developing these antiviral therapeutics. most recently, we here of the element of a protease inhibitor. that is the inhibitor from pfizer. as you know, just a few days ago, the results of a placebo-controlled trial of
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around 3000 people was done in a very impressive -- a very impressive 89% production -- reduction was seen in the treatment arm compared to the placebo arm with 10 deaths in the placebo and no deaths in the treatment. this is the only administered antiviral similar to -- given within days of the recognition of symptoms, has this important clinical effect. again, the u.s. government did play a role in the development. early consultations with pfizer referring to research providing screening methodology, in vitro testing and the nih led therapeutic intervention team generated the clinical trial protocol.
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all of this is good news in that we now have one that already has an eua, and one putting in for eua to have an orally administered antiviral therapy. i want to close with the last slide, 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. we all know it is much more important to prevent an infection than it is to treat. if a person get infected, it is critical to get them good treatment. you saw the data that showed 50% to 89% diminution of the risk of hospitalization. the way you get a 100% just --
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decrease in the risk of hospitalization is to not get infected in the first place. finally, get your booster shot when it is your turn. >> thank you dr. fauci. let's open it up for questions. >> let's go to erica edwards at nbc. >> thank you appeared i wanted to go back to the number of kids ages five to 11 who have been vaccinated. where do those numbers come from? what was the source? is the cdc confirming those numbers? >> thank you for that question. we have talked about several times the program for kids five to 11 is a new program. with specialized doses being shipped to those sites. many of the places that adults go to get vaccinated are not the right places for kids. we are bringing on the 20,000
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sites we have talked about including 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 kids. also, to report. to estimate how many five to 11-year-olds have received a first 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. some states do have on their website the public information. based on the gathering of data points, we estimate conservatively that at least 900,000 kids age 5-11 have received at least their first dose. our goal is to vaccinate as many kids as possible. this is the very beginning of
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the program. it is just getting to full strength. we expect more kids to get vaccinated, and 900,000 shots in arms at the end of the day is a good start. >> zeke miller, ap. >> thank you. also on kid vaccinations, i am hoping you could speak to the expected pace. what is the capacity right now? how many shots could we get -- and do you expect that 900,000 in a week pace to accelerate? is that which -- what we should be expecting -- >> i would not think of 900,000 as the pace for a week. it is really just the last couple of days where the doses arrived into the 20,000 sites have stood up. i think it is a pace that is much more than 900,000 on a weekly basis.
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daily, as we talk to states and their teams and their pharmacies , more sites are opening. like the mall of america, that has the capacity to vaccinate 1500 kids day. mobile clinics are being deployed across the country could the pace will be increasing across the next several days and weeks. 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 pace to continue to accelerate. >> abc news. >> thanks for taking my question. colorado has urged everyone over 18 to get boosters. we have repeatedly heard from
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this team that we are not going to boost our way out of the pandemic. i wonder, will this approach work? do you encourage other states to do this? >> thank you for that question. first and foremost but we want to get everybody who is eligible to be vaccinated to be vaccinated. that is the most important in terms of hospitalizations and deaths. for those who are eligible for a boost now, we would encourage they get boosted. those over the age of 65, those with comorbid conditions and people who work and live in high risk settings. and then, get adolescence and younger populations, newly eligible five to 11-year-olds. that will very much help us in preventing some of these surges you are hearing about. as you know, the fda is currently looking at the data
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for expanding booster stall populations. >> just to add a few numbers, more than 25 million americans have rolled up their sleeves and got in a booster. that is clearly a strong start to the program. for the pfizer eligible 65 and older, because pfizer was authorized by the fda and cdc earlier, weeks ago. close to half of those who are eligible have gotten there booster. that is real progress. this month so far we are averaging close to 800,000 booster shots in arms per day. that is up 50% from october. lots of progress, and as dr. walensky said, we encourage everyone eligible to get there booster soon. >> [indiscernible] >> how are you doing? you talked about how hard it is to put a number on the
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vaccinations needed to reach what we call herd immunity and how that number will be determined. i want to know if you could clarify the scientific goals behind the workday -- workplace mandates. is the goal to keep more workers healthy and on the job to keep hospitals clear? or is the goal to decrease transmission in and around the workplace given the shots to give protection -- [indiscernible] >> all of the above. i will turn to dr. fauci and walensky. covid has had a real impact on the workplace. a significant increase in absenteeism, people getting infected at work. there are many people who are not in the labor force because of covid. childcare needs or health concerns. it is really important that people feel like they have a
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safe and healthy work environment. people being vaccinated along the lines of osha rules, being tested a minimum of once a week is important for workplace safety, our economy and for beating the pandemic. anything to add? dr. fauci: it truly is all of the above. obviously we want to keep people out of hospitals and prevent them from going onto the severe outcome of death. but you are also going to diminish infections in individuals. obviously, no vaccine is 100%, but it goes a long way. as we have all said, the biggest disruption of the workplace is when people get covid. that is the reason we want to do everything we can to keep the workplace flow at its normal level by preventing disease. it is for that reason it is so important to get workers and everybody else vaccinated. the bottom line, it is all of
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the above we are trying to do. >> last question. >> cheryl stole berg at the new york times. >> thanks for doing this call. i have a couple questions. first, the president set a goal of having 70% of adults get at least one shot before july 4. i am wondering, do you have a specific role for kids and a timeframe by which you would like to get a certain percentage of the 28 million vaccinated? also, when will the cdc have actual numbers to report? separately, we haven't heard that much about barry ands -- variants. >> when we start with the variant question. dr. fauci: right now, the delta
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variant still overwhelmingly dominates 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 or not. when we do get a new variant, we always do studies to see whether or not they is a monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma or the antibodies induced by vaccines. right now, our problem is the delta variant without a doubt. as well as the fact that we are very alert and looking out for the emergence of other variants. >> i want to emphasize we have plenty of supply for all 28 million kids ages five to 11.
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now we are at 20,000 trusted sites that parents and kids are used to going to and feeling comfortable. there's lots of locations and appointments to be scheduled. also, locations are open for walk-up in many locations. we are set up to continue to vaccinate more and more kids. we are off to a very strong start with 900,000 kids already having received their first shot. 700 thousand appointments already scheduled at local pharmacies. we want to make sure that we answer any questions that parents or kids might have about the vaccine. and get vaccinated as soon as possible at these locations. on the data question. >> i don't have much to add. with new nash coming online there is a bit of a delay getting those data to --
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partners -- [indiscernible] >> i want to thank everybody for today's briefing and i look forward to the next one. announcer: national launch of the space x crew to the space station tonight. we will see everything from their crew walking into the craft, remarks from nasa administrator, and the launch. our live coverage begins at 6:15 p.m. eastern on c-span, online, or on c-span now, our new video app could -- app. ♪
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i doubt washington journal -- announcer: washington journal. we take your calls live on air and discuss policy issues that impact you. thursday, james kick field discusses his book about medal of honor recipients who served in iraq and afghanistan. also, leo shane will examine issues facing the veterans administration. watch washington journal 7:00 eastern on c-span. join the discussion with phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. ♪ announcer: you can be a part of the national conversation by participating in c-span's video
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competition. if you are a middle or high school student, create a 5-6 minute documentary that answers the question, how does the federal government impact your life? your document must show supporting and opposing points of view on policy that affects your community. c-span.org. c-span's student competition awards $100,000 in total cash prizes. you have a shot at the grand prize of $500,000. entries must be received before january 20, 2022. for rules, tips, or just to get started, visit our website. 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

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