Skip to main content

tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  March 12, 2021 1:07pm-1:45pm EST

1:07 pm
shriver, some of my other portraits here, lindsay boggs, these were people who went into public life and public service to get things done. some of them were sparkling speakers and wits like henry hyde. some of them were dour norwegians like scooped jackson. some of them were utter charmers like lindy boggs, but they are all people who wanted to achieve things not so much for themselves, but for their country, for their constituents, for the common good. >> that's sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." you can also listen as a podcast where you get your podcasts. the white house covid-19 response team held a briefing on the biden administration's vaccination response efforts. the cdc announced updated
1:08 pm
recommendations for childcare providers and talked about president biden calling on states to open vaccinations to all adults by may 1. >> put the nation on a path to get closer to normal by the fourth of july. as many of you remember, on the president's first full day in office, he outlined a comprehensive strategy to beat this pandemic. we spent every day since then executing against that strategy. and we are making progress.
1:09 pm
as you can see on our weekly vaccination progress report, the current seven day average, the dark bar on the far right is 2.2 million shots per day. that is a new record case we will continue to build on. on inauguration day, only 8% of americans 65 and older had gotten there first vaccination. today, that number is nearly 65%. this is important because 80% of covid deaths have been individuals 65 and over. so, we are making progress, but there is more work to do. last night, americans heard the president say that all of us need to do our part and, if we do, there is a good chance families and friends will be able to safely gather in small groups to celebrate independence day. i want to walk through the key
1:10 pm
components of our effort moving forward, starting with may 1 eligibility. the president will direct states, tribes, and territories to make all adults eligible for the vaccine no later than may 1. that is earlier than expected and reflects our success working with vaccine manufacturers to increase supply and secured doses for all adult americans and also our progress in increasing both the numbers of vaccinators and number of places people can get vaccinated. that does not mean everyone will get a shot immediately. may 1 is the date every adult will be eligible to sign up to get the shot. by the end of may, they expect to have enough vaccine supply available for all adults in this country. to help ensure we turn vaccine
1:11 pm
supply into shots and arms, the president announced we will continue to increase the number of vaccinators and the number of places to get vaccinated. first, over the coming weeks, we will deliver vaccines directly to up to 700 additional community health members that reach underserved communities, bringing the total number of these community health centers participating in the federal vaccination program to 950. second, we will work to double the number of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy program. we will make the vaccine available at more than 20,000 pharmacies across america. the administration is instructing these pharmacies to expand mobile operations into the hardest hit communities to reach more people. third, the administration will more than double the number of federally run mass vaccination centers to ensure we get the hardest hit communities --
1:12 pm
sorry, to be sure we reach the hardest hit communities. many of these sites will include mobile operations to further reach out to underserved communities and deliver thousands of shots per day. today, i am pleased to announce a new fema supported site in detroit. this site will be located at ford field, home of the detroit lions and has the ability to administer 6000 shots per day. thus night, president biden announced the deployment of more than 4000 active-duty troops to support vaccination efforts, bringing the total troop deployment to over 6000. fourth, we will increase the number of vaccinators, people who can administer shots in arms. dr. nunez smith will talk about the importance of today's prep act amendment to increase the total number of vaccinators in the field. now, we know the work to
1:13 pm
increase vaccine supply, vaccinators and places to get vaccinated is not enough on its own. we need to make it easier for every american to get vaccinated. too often it is too difficult, too time consuming, and too frustrating for people to identify where vaccines are available and where to schedule an appointment. that is why the president last night announced steps to make it easier for individuals to find a vaccine near them. by may 1, as vaccines are available in more places, the administration will launch a federally supported website that will show locations near them that have available vaccines. and because we know not everyone has internet access or is comfortable online, we will also launch a call center to provide assistance in providing a vaccine. since so many americans use their state and local websites
1:14 pm
to schedule vaccine appointment's, the administration will deploy technology teams to play -- to deploy the systems. reopening schools safely is critical to getting closer to normal. last night, president biden discussed additional steps in our effort to reopen schools. now that the american rescue plan is law, $130 billion will help schools pay for critical supplies to implement the cdc mitigation strategies, hire more staff, and support children's academic, social, and emotional needs. and we are getting educators vaccinated. the president announced he's using the administration's authority to direct states that have not directed pre-pay childcare workers for vaccination immediately. as we work to get more people vaccinated, we need to expand
1:15 pm
testing, diagnostic screening, and genomic sequencing. the american rescue plan's 1.7 billion dollars investment, we will work to sequence samples to track and mitigate emerging variants. the administration will use the nearly $50 billion in testing that comes from the funding the american rescue plan to invest in screening testing to help schools reopen safely. and also to expand testing and conger get settings, including -- and conger get settings including shelters where individuals live in close quarters. across the next several weeks, the cdc will provide public health guidance based on the best available science as people travel, participate in small gatherings, and go to work in houses of worship.
1:16 pm
also, as we increase the number of people vaccinated, we know some people may have the need to demonstrate they are vaccinated. the private sector, not per far-off -- not for-profit coalitions are beginning to work with us. our role is to help ensure any solutions in this area should be simple, free, open-source, accessible to people both digitally and on paper, and designed to protect people's privacy. as the president noted last night, this fight is far from over. we still have a lot of work to do. this is certainly not a time to put down your guard. mask up and follow the public health standards. we need all americans to get vaccinated as soon as it is their turn and to help your family and friends and neighbors get vaccinated as well.
1:17 pm
together, unified, we can defeat this pandemic and we can all celebrate a more normal fourth of july with our family and friends, gathering in small groups to celebrate the holiday. with that, i will turn it over to dr. walensky. dr. walensky: it's good to be back with you today. we are now officially one year and one day into the covid-19 pandemic. as i reflect back on the near impossible clinical decisions we had to make to prioritize scant resources, ventilators, and ppe, i recall those moments and i'm sure many of you share them, where i felt powerless and hopeless. and here we are, one very long year later, led by science and propelled by a growing sense of hope that we can and we will get out of this together. but cases and hospitalizations and deaths remain high. and we have been fooled before into being too lax.
1:18 pm
so now is the time to double down and see this through. the most recent cdc data shows cases continue to fluctuate between 50,000 and 60,000 new cases per day, with the most recent seven-day average being more than 55,500 cases per day. the most recent seven day average of hospital admissions continues to decline, down from the previous seven days, to about 4900 admissions per day. we also continue to see around 1500-1800 deaths per day with the latest seven day average being just over 1500 deaths per day. i am encouraged by these data but we must remain vigilant to continue in our effort to get cases, admissions, and deaths down. we are making remarkable prosody -- progress on our vaccination effort. you have more than 64 million people who received at least one dose of vaccine and we are vaccinating millions more each
1:19 pm
day. this is our path out of the pandemic. as you heard last night from the president, we are working as quickly as we can to ensure every american has access to vaccines. as we get more vaccinations into communities, i'm asking everyone to do the right thing. continue taking public health precautions and be ready to roll up your sleeve when that vaccine is available to you. throughout the pandemic, parents and caregivers have faced challenging tasks of balancing childcare responsibilities with work responsibilities, often operating in environments with limited childcare options. we know childcare programs in early childcare education are essential to healthy child development. the services these offer our is essential for a safe, stable, and nurturing environment to get kids ready for school and develop critical social and
1:20 pm
emotional skills. like other businesses and community services, many childcare programs have been challenged in their response to the pandemic. early last year, the cdc released initial guidance for childcare programs during covid-19. as we have learned more about the virus, cdc experts updated the guidance several times route 2020. today, the cdc is releasing updated guidance by the most recent science. that includes additional evidence showing that when used consistently and correctly, preventive strategies like mask wearing, staying home and sick, and good hand hygiene can allow childcare programs to operate safely and reduce the spread of covid-19. this updated guidance is intended for all types of childcare providers, including childcare centers, family child care homes, head programs, and prekindergarten programs and to supplement, not to replace, other laws, rules, and
1:21 pm
regulations other programs must follow. it includes strategies programs can use to maintain healthy environments and operations. to lower the risk of covid-19 clusters and their programs, to prepare for when someone is sick with covid-19 and to support coping and resilience for staff, children and parents they serve. critically, the updated guidance emphasizes the importance of mask wearing for all children older than two years old and all staff except when eating or sleeping. it also highlights strategies like co-hoarding, or groups of children are kept together with the same peers and staff to reduce the risk of spread throughout the program. the guidance provides recommendations on simple, low-cost cost ventilation strategies, how to adopt the environment with children for disabilities -- with disabilities and special needs and communal spaces of a food service areas and play areas safer.
1:22 pm
recognizing that guidance can sometimes be complex, we are releasing a suite of complementary resources, infographics, and toolkits to help programs with implementation. we have included quick guides and flowcharts to help you know what to do if the child becomes ill or showing signs of covid-19 while in care. all of these resources along with guidance are available at i hope childcare providers will view the guidance as a one-stop shop for strategies they can use to safely provide care and enrich our nation's children. i'm excited to note the american rescue plan signed by the president yesterday includes tooth d $4 billion in emergency funding to help support childcare providers. this funding can be used to pay for rent, utilities, and staff, but also to help childcare providers implement covid-19 prevention strategies. i want to stress our childcare
1:23 pm
guidance emphasizes the importance of covid-19 vaccination as an additional layer of prevention for childcare workers. i strongly encourage america's childcare workers to get vaccinated. last week, president biden directed all states to prioritize childcare workers as well as k-12 teachers and school staff for covid-19 vaccination in march. the cdc is taking a leading role to help achieve the president's goal there are federal retail pharmacy program. we have over 9000 pharmacies participating nationwide and childcare workers are being vaccinated for childcare workers. please go to and check out the pharmacy partners participating in your state. our website provides information on where to go to schedule your appointment. if you are a worker that does --
1:24 pm
childcare center that does not have access to the web, please work with them. we are talking about the impact of this pandemic has had on children and families. i want to share another concerning way covid-19 is affecting the health of our nation -- disrupting our ability to vaccinate children against other infectious diseases. on-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. during the pandemic, we have seen substantial decline in pediatricians visits and because of this, cdc orders for childhood vaccinations dropped by 11 million doses. a substantial and historic decline. as we work to get our children back to school, we do not want to encounter other preventable outbreaks like measles and mumps. when planning for your child safe return to programs or two
1:25 pm
schools, please check with your child's doctor to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccine. if they did fall behind, they can get caught up by following the cdc catch up immunization schedule available on the website. this pandemic has taken so much from us already. we must work together to protect our children's health now and in the future. and q and now i will turn it over to dr. fauci. dr. fauci: thank you very much. i would like to spend just a few minutes on updating you from something i spoke about a couple of presses ago regarding therapy and, in some respect, prevention of covid-19 disease. if i could have the next slide. this is a slide which i had shown previously and the reason i repeat it is because what i'm going to tell you over the next two or three minutes relates to things that will be very useful if one consults the treatment guidelines, which, as i
1:26 pm
mentioned, is a living document, which is updated on a regular basis as new clinical data come in. the reason i point this out is recently, there has been a considerable amount of information regarding some of the monoclonal antibodies used in the prevention and treatment of covid-19. recall a week or so ago, i spoke to you about the direct antiviral agents we are pursuing in a very proactive way. what we are going to be talking about in the next minute or two is monoclonal antibodies. just to orient you, there are a number of monoclonal antibodies, not all of them directed against the virus itself. for example, there is an anti-i/o six receptor antibody -- but the monoclonal antibodies directed against the stars covid to spike protein, usually the
1:27 pm
receptor binding domain -- a cocktail from regeneron. let's go to the next slide. we will talk about monoclonal antibodies for covid-19 treatment. i mentioned a recent guideline alert from the nih which showed this particular monoclonal antibody in combination with dexamethasone for certain advanced hospitalized patients, namely patients exhibiting rapid respiratory decompensation, showed it was useful in the treatment of these individuals exhibiting this rapid progression of disease. next slide.
1:28 pm
now getting to the monoclonal antibodies against the virus itself -- the combination recently, literally a couple of days ago, at a conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections -- i point out to you that many of the researchers who previously devoted their careers to studying hiv have pivoted because of the emergency nature of covid-19. in this study, and individuals who are ambulatory with the questions being asked can we keep them out of the hospital? it showed a 70% reduction in covid-related hospitalizations and deaths by any cause by day 29 in people who receives this combination as opposed to placebo. next slide. there was another study, a
1:29 pm
combination of the vere bio technique -- biotechnology company and gsa who announced that there product, again, in ambulatory patients, reduced hospitalization and risk of death with an 85% reduction when you look at this compared to placebo. next slide. very quickly, looking at monoclonal antibodies for covid-19 prevention as opposed to treatment, in this study, reported a couple of days ago, why not prevented covid it -- morbidity in a nursing home setting. an individual with an infection in a nursing home, and you look at the groups, be they staff or residents who are randomized to placebo, there was an 80% reduction in the incidence of moderate or worse covid-19 at
1:30 pm
eight weeks. next slide. here again is the regeneron antibody cocktail i mentioned previously. in this situation, it was within a household setting. in other words, where there is an infection in a household setting and you are looking at the results of randomized family members either to this cocktail or two placebo to determine if you can prevent postexposure prophylaxis or if you can treat early disease. the results were really dramatic. there was 100% protection against symptomatic affection compared to placebo and it reduced the overall infection rate by 50% and importantly, those who were infected, had 100 fold lower viral load and showed
1:31 pm
detectable rna. the reason i showed you the slide on the nih treatment guidelines is that this is a very fluid area of research, particularly since, as i mentioned on a previous presser, that these monoclonal antibodies can be knocked out, particularly when given as monotherapy by different variants. which is why, as we go on and i will report in future meetings, you will see mostly combinations of these antibodies as opposed to single ones because the single ones are most vulnerable to the variants that can knock them out easily. i will stop there and turn it over to dr. nunez-smith. dr. nunez-smith: thank you very much. i'm going to return to vaccines for a moment. as a doctor and front-line
1:32 pm
worker myself, i'm very excited to see more of my health care colleagues now have the chance to further expand their participation and response. expanding the number of places people can get vaccinated as well as the number of vaccinators is going to be critical for us as we drive and equitable response. we are faced with this reality that marginalized and minority eyes communities are often the first to be forgotten. especially when resources are in short supply. we remain very committed to disrupting that narrative. with today's announcement, up to 700 new community health centers coming online, a doubling of pharmacy locations, and a surge of vaccinators, we are ensuring equity remains at the center of our response. i want to take a minute to touch on the newly eligible vaccinators. they help meet the demand for more shots in arms once everyone is eligible for vaccine.
1:33 pm
the administration is expanding the pool of qualified professionals who will be able to administer shots. this list includes dentists, optometrists, paramedics, physician assistants, and many more, including trained medical and health care students. alongside this effort, the department of health and human services will launch a new portal to help individuals determine where they can sign up to administer shots. we know a zip code is a stronger driver of help -- health than their genetic code. so we will prioritize getting the necessary resources to those communities hardest hit and at highest risk. as we fight against centuries of structural inequities, we must be intentional about making vaccine easy and convenient for everyone. key to that effort is having enough vaccinators to deliver shots in arms. so i encourage my fellow health care colleagues to visit the new portal at
1:34 pm
check your status and sign up to help. makes so much. but that, i will turn it back up to you, jeff. jeff: let's open up for questions. please keep your question to one question so we can get through as many as possible. first we go to carl o'donnell at reuters. >> one thing i wanted to ask -- there has been some commentary lately from a number of different groups about the impact of u.s. export controls on places like india to scale up global supply. also astrazeneca's ability to get shots to the eu, where it has already been authorized. i wonder if you can share any views that you have on that and
1:35 pm
whether there is any reassessment to make sure the global supply chain is streamlined. jeff: the president has been very focused filling his responsibility to the american people and we, as a country, have suffered over a half million deaths, more than any country in the world. so we are rightly focused on getting americans vaccinated as soon as possible. we are pleased with the progress and there is a long road ahead. however, we know this is a global pandemic and the virus has no borders. that is why the president is providing, the united states is providing the most funding of any country to covax, over $4 billion. it is why the president on his first day in office reengaged with the who. and it is why just today i
1:36 pm
participated in the quad meeting with the president and it was announced we are working to achieve expanded manufacturing of safe and effective covid-19 vaccines at facilities in india. we also believe the historic order should between j&j and merck will help expand capacity and ultimately benefit the world. we will continue to prioritize getting all americans vaccinated as quickly as possible, while at the same time, understand this is a global pandemic and making as big a contribution as we possibly can to worldwide efforts to get everyone vaccinated. >> next question is caitlin collins at cnn. >> thanks very much. i have two questions. one super quick. how many people do you want to see vaccinated by july 4 in order to meet that goal of having those small gatherings
1:37 pm
the president was talking about. and secondly, this is probably best for jeff, but you have said we will have enough vaccines for everyone by the end of may, not that everyone will get it by then. looking at these numbers, it looks like maternal will have 200 million and pfizer will have 200 million and johnson & johnson 20 million. that's enough for 220 million people. where are those other vaccines coming from in order to have enough for all eligible americans by the end of may? jeff: i think your 20 million is the term johnson & johnson has talked about in terms of cumulative doses by the end of this month. the work that we did working with johnson & johnson and merck to accelerate their manufacturing process, particularly the soul finish piece has it so that johnson & johnson is delivering at or near its 100 million by the end of may.
1:38 pm
so take the 200 million doses by the end of may at madura and at 200 million doses of pfizer, plus the at or near 100 million of the johnson & johnson first contract, that's more than enough supply to vaccinate -- vaccine supply to vaccinate all adult americans by the end of may. we need to ramp up the number of vaccinators, as we have been talking about, and the number of places americans can get vaccinated so that when all americans are eligible on may 1, we can accelerate and move quickly to get as many americans vaccinated as soon as possible. >> we are not looking at a single metric of people vaccinated in a vacuum. we are looking at it in the con pack -- in the context of what's going on in the pandemic as well. i don't think we can put a single metric on that.
1:39 pm
so it's hard to put a metric on a single number. >> next question, cheyenne at abc. >> how much do you think it will be that states can open up to every adult before may when it comes to the vaccine supply and when should we expect the floodgates to open on vaccines? jeff: the key here is that may 1 is a date the president will direct using his authorities. hopefully there will be states, and we already have one in alaska, that open up before then and we are doing everything we can to encourage states to get as many needles in arms as fast and efficiently as possible. this is where increasing the number of vaccinators, the number of laces, the community vaccination centers, the
1:40 pm
community health centers, as we do that, we can accelerate from the 2.2 million rate we are having on average per day now. hopefully we can accelerate that further and there will be states that open before may 1. but may 1 is an absolute deadline for all americans to be eligible to receive the vaccine. >> next question is sean sullivan at the "washington post co. -- "washington post." >> can you talk about why the president felt the need to set out specific dates in his speech last night and how you intend to manage the public's expectation of what will happen by the states. as you pointed out and that president pointed out, the situation could change, but how do you manage expectations of a public that might not be paying attention to those caveats?
1:41 pm
jeff: i think we all agree it's important to have deadlines and goals. we spent a lot of time working through the supply, the number of places, the number of vaccinators, and we believe may 1 is the right deadline. no later than may 1. so we will have enough supply by the end of may given all the presidents work and leadership to bring forward the supply, create enough supply for all americans by may 31. we will have enough vaccinators and enough places for people to get vaccinated. the funding for the american rescue plan helps to ensure we will have that capacity. to do the 2.2 million shots per day we are currently doing and hopefully accelerate off that pace as we add more places and more vaccinators. >> we have time for one more question. >> thank you all for doing this.
1:42 pm
can you speak to the expansion of the retail pharmacy program and commune he health center program, how many doses are you going to start diverting into that stream? you told the governors there allocations will remain static for the coming weeks. and another on the astrazeneca in particular -- with the stockpile of millions of doses, with that still in flux, why not send those vaccines overseas to help and save some alliance with american allies in particular? jeff: performance is a function of speed and efficiency -- as importantly, equity and fairness. the next couple of weeks of
1:43 pm
supply overall are relatively flat for the supply starts to accelerate toward the end of the month and into april and may. when i say relatively flat, at a level that is more than twice what it was six or seven weeks ago. allocation will be based on performance and we believe the community health centers are particularly important in order to reach hard-to-reach communities and ensure fairness and equity. the pharmacy program is also structured around fairness and equity. so we will make future allocations based on performance . as to astrazeneca, we are following the exact same process we did with the other three now approved vaccines, moderna, pfizer, and j&j. just as we did with those vaccines, as we awaited for the completion of clinical trials, i understand astrazeneca is in the middle of its phase three trial
1:44 pm
and then the fda determination from when they submit the data, we have a small inventory of astrazeneca. if approved, we can get that inventory out to the american people as quickly as possible, as we just did with j&j. astrazeneca, we are awaiting the clinical trial and the decision by the fda and cdc. i think that is it on the questions. i want to thank everyone for joining today and we look forward to see you on monday. -- seeing you on monday. >> i don't how i carted. st. patrick's day last year. -- are reconnected? host: yes, sir.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on