President Biden Just Gave This Bleak COVID Update
Return to normality may not be as close as we hoped.
Coronavirus case numbers in the U.S. are slowly falling thanks to continued vaccine efforts and a plateauing of post-holiday surges. Numbers have decreased by 31 percent over the last two weeks, per data from The New York Times. While this may seem like a good sign that the pandemic is close to being over, many experts are pointing to new troubles already on the horizon. In fact, President Joe Biden just gave a bleak COVID update that may not be something most people want to hear. Read on to find out what POTUS said about the future of the pandemic, and for more on life after COVID, Dr. Fauci Just Said We'll Never Be Able to Do This Again.
President Biden said it would be difficult to reach herd immunity before the end of the summer.
During a recent interview with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell, President Biden made it clear that the road to recovery from the pandemic would be a long one when O'Donnell asked if he could simply tell vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer that the U.S. needs increased vaccine production. "We've already done it," Biden told O'Donnell. "But the idea that this can be done and we can get to herd immunity before the end of this summer is very difficult." And for more vaccine news, If You Live in These States, You Can Now Get Vaccinated at Walmart.
Dr. Fauci said 75 percent of people need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
Herd immunity is the idea that enough people have become immune to a certain disease that it is unlikely to keep spreading. In December, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, said that 75 percent of Americans need to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity. According to CBS News, at the current rate of 1.3 million vaccines a day, 75 percent of Americans won't be vaccinated until the end of 2021. With that in mind, the end of summer may not appear to be a reasonable goal, but Biden emphasized that the country can't wait as long as a year for herd immunity. And if you're worried about getting sick, This Is Where You're Most Likely to Catch COVID, New Study Says.
The president said the administration thought there were more vaccines available than there actually were.
President Biden pointed to the White House administration under former President Donald Trump, saying that their handling of COVID was "even more dire than we thought." According to The Washington Post, Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar had announced in mid-January that the Trump administration would release coronavirus vaccines they had been reserving for second shots. Unfortunately, no such reserve actually existed, as the administration had already began shipping out all available vaccines at the end of December.
"We thought they had indicated there was a lot more vaccine available. And it didn't turn out to be the case," Biden told O'Donnell. "Look, it was one thing if we had enough vaccine, which we didn't. So we're pushing as hard as we can to get more vaccine manufactured." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Vaccine manufacturers are working to increase production.
Both Moderna and Pfizer are already working to increase the number of vaccines they are producing, with The New York Times reporting that both companies increased their vaccine supply to the U.S. by 16 percent during the last week of January. Recently, Moderna asked the FDA to allow it to increase the amount of COVID vaccine put into each vial by as much as 50 percent—raising the number of doses per vial from 10 to as many as 15. And USA Today just reported that Pfizer is set to reduce its production time by nearly 50 percent, making it easier to produce more vaccines in a shorter amount of time. And for essential vaccine guidance, Dr. Fauci Says Don't Do This After Your First COVID Shot.