tv White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing CSPAN September 10, 2021 7:30pm-8:02pm EDT
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out of this pandemic action plan president biden announced yesterday. the more transmissible delta variant is driving a surge in cases, and this remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated. we know vaccinations of the best way to beat the pandemic. that is why from day one we have been working tirelessly to get shots in arms, and we have made significant lifesaving progress. safe, effective and free vaccines are readily available to everyone nearly 75% of eligible americans 12 and older have gotten at least their first shot, and now over 170 7 million americans are fully vaccinated. that is up from just 2 million when the president took office. the pace of vaccinations have picked up.
14 million people rolled up their sleeves and got there first shot in august. 4 million more than the month of july. thanks to the success of our vaccination program and the resources provided by the american rescue plan, we are in a much stronger position than when the country experienced case surges in the past, but we have more to do. the presidents action plan builds on the work have been doing since day one of his presidency. it is aggressive, hyper intensive, and will drive additional progress this ball by getting more people vaccinated, keeping schools open, and our economy growing, and decreasing hospitalizations and deaths. getting more people vaccinated is the cornerstone of this plan. after president biden announced vaccination requirements for federal workers in july, hundreds of small, medium, and large businesses, health care systems, colleges and
universities, school districts, and state and local governments have stepped up to follow his lead and adopt requirements covering tens of millions of americans. yesterday the president extended the reach of vaccination requirements. osha is developing a rule that all businesses with 100 more employees ensure every worker is vaccinated or gets tested one time a week. requiring all workers in most health care settings receiving medicare medicaid to get vaccinated, requiring all federal executive branch employees and all employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated, and requiring all headstart educators and teachers and staff of federally run schools to be fully vaccinated. certain private sector employees
, health-care workers, educators, teachers, federal employees, and contractors -- the president is covering over 100 million workers with vaccine requirements. 100 million workers. that is of all workers in two thirds america. in the presidents vaccination crimes are becoming the standard for americans across the country. vaccination requirements have been around for decades for diseases like polio, smallpox, and measles. they are widely supported and proven to work. we know the private and public sector institutions adopting vaccine requirements have seen significant increases in the vaccination rates in short order. that is why since the president
addressed the nation last evening, you have see a chorus of private and public institutions coming out in support of the plan. the american medical association and the national nurses union endorsed what they call the president's robust plan. the business roundtable which represents more than 200 businesses that employee total of 20 million workers welcomed the president's announcement. and the republican governor of vermont also applauded the president's plan. vaccination requirements will help make communities and workplaces safer, and help accelerate our path out of the pandemic. in addition to vaccinations the president's plan calls for more testing. testing allows us to quickly detect cases and prevent outbreaks. that is why as we accelerate the pace of vaccination, the president's plan ramps up the ability of testing across the country by using the defense production act to accelerate the production of rapid tests by investing $2 billion to procure 280 million rapid points of care
and at home tests. by expanding the reach of the free pharmacy testing program to 10,000 local pharmacies around the country and by sending 25 million free at home tests to 1400 community health centers and hundreds of food banks. walmart, amazon, and kroger will also sell at home testing kits at cost for the next three months. together, these steps will ensure that every american, no matter their income level, will have easy access to convenient tests. as we boost vaccinations and increased testing, we are also doing every thing we can to keep kids safely in school. earlier this morning, the president, the first lady, and secretary cardona visited a middle school here in washington, d.c. to see firsthand the steps schools are taking to ensure that kids are safe and in the classroom.
they're doing what works, including vaccinations, masking, and testing. we have provided all schools throughout the country over $130 billion through the american rescue plan to implement these various strategies. there is simply no excuse for failing to do so. this is not about politics, it is about protecting our kids. and as the president has made very clear, we stand with the school district leaders, educators, and parents who are doing right by kids and will take on those who are standing in the way. last, we continue to support states and improve care for those who get covid. since july, our whole of government covid-19 surge teams have worked to support 18 states as they battle delta. deploying nearly 1000 personnel including doctors, nurses, paramedics. and hundreds of critical supply like ventilators and ambulances
to support strained health systems. and importantly, shipping over one million doses of lifesaving monoclonal antibody treatments. yesterday, the president announced additional actions, including doubling the number of military health teams deployed to hospitals around the country, and increasing the average weekly case of shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments by another 50% in september. i want to close with this. from day one, the president committed to the american people he would marshall a wartime effort to lead us out of the pandemic. that is exactly what he has done. the aggressive actions he outlined yesterday build on the progress we have made and will accelerate our path out of the pandemic. with that, over to dr. walensky. dr. walensky: let's begin with an overview of the data.
our seven-day average is about 136,000 cases per day and our seven day average of hospital admissions is about 11,750 per day. our seven-date average of daily deaths continues at over 1000 per day. at the president said yesterday, we are working across the federal government and the department of health and human services to turn the corner on this pandemic. today, i want to share with you the ways cdc continues to be actively engaged in this work. as you heard me say before, we must do all we can to protect our children and keep them safe, in school for in-person learning. we know what we need to do and cdc has provided clear, evidence-based guidance for schools to follow. this includes universal masking of students, teachers, staff, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, making sure work to improve ventilation, introducing implementing school screening
and testing programs, and making sure those eligible are vaccinated. and we have resources and toolkits to implement these measures. cdc stands ready to provide technical assistance for schools and jurisdictions who request our help. over the past two weeks, i have shared data from cdc and public health partners that demonstrate the important role of vaccination in protecting children. communities with higerh vaccination rates have lower reported emergency department visits and children with covid-19, even children who cannot be vaccinated themselves. the president's actions to increase vaccinations among teachers and in the community and to financially support schools upgrading their protection, will keep our children safe and our schools open. cdc is also working hard with so many of you and so many of our partners to make sure all
eligible americans are vaccinated. we continue to study and report on vaccine effectiveness and safety. today we will publish a study that looks at cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in 13 states, and offers further evidence of the power of vaccination. in this study, over 600,000 covid-19 cases from april through mid-july were evaluated and linked to vaccination status. looking at cases over the past two months when the delta variant was the predominant variant circulating in the country, those who were unvaccinated were about 4.5 times more likely to get covid-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease. as the president reiterated yesterday, and as we have shown, study after study, vaccination works. cdc will continue to do all we can to increase vaccination rates across the country by working with local communities and trusted messengers and providing a vaccine confidence
to make sure people have the information they need to make an informed decision about vaccination. the bottom line is this, we have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic. vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of covid-19. it will protect our children and allow them to stay in schools for safe in person learning. thank you. i will not turn things over to dr. fauci. dr. fauci: i would like to spend a couple of minutes talking about variants which have recently been the subject of some discussion and concern. this slide shows the selected sars-cov-2 variants with the lineage determination on the right, the b and c, and the new
who greek letters on the left. we are going to focus on the delta variant. as you can see from the slide, this variant has become extraordinary in its ability to dominate among the isolates in the u.s. and worldwide. note that in june, just a few months ago, it comprised about 13% of the isolates. whereas now, it is about 99% of the isolates. this becomes relevant when one thinks in terms of other variants that are becoming of interest to people. next slide. i refer specifically to the mu variant and the other which has yet to get a greek letter determination. very quickly, slide, let's take a look at the new variant first. it was identified in december 2020 and detected in south america and accounts for a large proportion of the isolates for example in columbia. the reason it was brought to
attention, it had a number of mutations that were of interest. but when you look at the effect of antibodies against mutations, it is not a matter of alarm in that although it diminishes somewhat the protection, it falls within the range of delta and beta. but importantly, only 0.5% of isolates in the united states are mu. if you look at the right, you can see delta in blue dominates over alpha in orange and completely dominates over the mu variant. the variant first noted in south africa is not seen at all in the united states yet. and again, if you look in the lower right, the delta dominates the beta which was the original variant that was in south
africa, and again, the c.1.2 is not in the u.s. next slide. the bottom line of all of this prevalence of the mu variant and , the the c.1.2 are extremely low in the u.s. 0.5% for mu, and nothing for c.1.2. we will continue to monitor these and other emerging variants. the most important thing we can do to protect against any variant, be it delta, mu, or c.1.2 is to get vaccinated. i will not hand over to dr. murthy. dr. murthy: you have heard from the president with the plan he announced his today is the federal government will pulling be at every lever of the virus
helping more people get vaccinated is one of the key strategies in this plan. we have always known in order to do that we have to help people feel confident that getting vaccinated is the right choice for them and their families. when it comes to making important choices, we know most of us look to each other, to our families, to our doctors, and to our neighbors and friends and work colleagues. that is why several months ago we announced we were building the covid-19 community corps which is intended to mobilize trusted voices so people can get information from sources they rely on. this will be more important than ever in months ahead. since we started in the spring, the community corps has picked up a lot of momentum. there are more than 15,000 members representing over 6000 organizations. they include doctors and nurses, teachers, ministers, friends, and neighbors. in addition to the grass works
roots work they do in their communities, they have come together to hear the most up to date information on covid-19, to learn about developments, and the response effort and to share best practices for their outreach. just this week, president obama came to speak with the corps and shared his appreciation for the community organizing work they are doing, knocking on doors, making phone calls, texting friends, and reaching out to folks in their community. i want to share some of the ways that we have been helping communities get vaccinated. first, we have seen extraordinary efforts in native and other communities that are located far from health-care providers. the partners in health have nonprofit engaged in door-to-door canvassing. in south-central texas, a hospital developed a campaign that helps people share their motivation for getting vaccinated. and organizations in kentucky at the university of kentucky have
and st. clair medical center have worked with local partners from schools to churches asthma businesses to help people share encouraging messages about the vaccine across the appalachian region. they have hired health-care workers who connect folks not only with covid-19 vaccines but preventative screenings and information about child immunizations which many have fallen behind on during the pandemic. these are just a few examples where the covid-19 vaccine which outreach effort has been a bridge to broader health care access. the second area i would like to highlight is the work our community corps is doing with parents and youth. a group in nevada hosted an all day vaccination event. in texas, there are more than a they have hosted more than a dozen free vaccine clinics this summer at local schools. one recent event vaccinated 225 people.
i want to emphasize that every single vaccination is a win. one more person protected against the delta variant and all of these conversations our community corps members have been having, even those that don't end in vaccination, are essential this effort. to we have learned also you don't have to have a degree in medicine to have these conversations. for example, one of our standout community leaders is a 12-year-old who recently hopped on his bike and ventured into the texas heat to hand out flyers about covid-19 vaccines. please said, my bike broke down many times, but i persisted and finished all of my deliveries. we are thing for him and others who have reached across boundaries religion, age, and of neighborhood to help others get vaccinated. these are the result of an ongoing investment in the power of local trusted voices to reach fellow americans. it is a strategy that works, and i am so grateful for all americans have done, they have a
the doors they have knocked on, the numbers they have dialed, and the lives they have saved. it will be more important than ever that we continue these efforts as we work to defeat delta and and this pandemic for good. thank you for your time and i will pass it back to jeff. jeff: thank you, doctors. let's open it up for a few questions. >> all right, and first question, please keep your questions short because we have limited time. brenda goodman at web md. >> i am wondering about the timeline for implementing the president's plan, especially the emergency rule at osha. how long is that expected to take, and how long will it enforced? also, what is the ultimate goal of this new plan? jeff: well, in terms of the ultimate goal, it is accelerate our path out of the pandemic, to get as many people that are not vaccinated vaccinated as soon as
possible, to safely keep our schools open, our economy continuing its recovery, and to decrease the number of hospitalizations and deaths from covid. the secretary of labor will oversee the rulemaking process with osha. we anticipate that will come in the coming weeks and will be implemented for all employers above need to get vaccinated or need to get vaccinated or 100 employees, the tested once per week. next question? >> all right. next question, lauren hirsch as the new york times. >> what is the punishment for companies that do not abide by the vaccination or test rule? jeff:, so again, this applies to companies with greater than 100 employees and if a workplace refuses to follow the standard, the osha fines can be
quite significant. enforcement actions include fines up to $13,600 per violation. next question. >> monica alba, nbc news. >> thank you so much. the question is, once boosters do become available in 10 days or so for those who got pfizer, as expected, what will be the standard for fully vaccinated? will it be two doses or three doses for those federal workers and contractors, in particular, for whom the 75 day clock starts ticking as of yesterday. jeff: dr. walensky. dr. walensky: we will pose that question to our advisory committee on immunization practices. currently fully vaccinated is two doses of pfizer or moderna or a single dose of j&j. i anticipate over time that will be updated, but we will leave that to our advisors to give us some recommendations. >> next question.
>> josh at bloomberg. >> thank you. can i just as broadly, yesterday was focused on employees essentially. many of the deaths are still among the elderly, who have the highest vaccination rate and are still bearing the brunt. what if anything can you do or are you considering doing to fuel vaccinations among that sliver of older folks who have not gotten a shot? and separately, have you ruled out whether you would do a vaccine or testing requirement for domestic flights, or is that something possible in the future? thank you. >> do you want to start with the question about 65 and older where vaccination rates are not quite high and we want to drive them further. >> yes, thank you. we have over 90% of seniors with
one dose of vaccine, more than 80% who have gotten fully vaccinated. that is good progress, but we want to get as close to 100% as possible. the boosters will likely be helpful in the end. that plan was laid out last month, which will be contingent on fda and cdc guidance. we continue with our community corps efforts to reach out to seniors. we know that every senior matters, as far as getting vaccinated comes that the vast network of organizations, which includes doctors, nurses, faith leaders, that is essential doing that outreach, and we will continue to do that in the months ahead. >> i might just add to that, the mandatory vaccination for long-term care facilities, dialysis center, places where
elderly people interact, that makes a difference, and so anticipate that will make a difference as well. >> thank you. josh, on the second part of your question about airlines, first, the vaccination requirements laid out yesterday will affect 100 million american workers, two thirds of all workers come so we are taking strong action on vaccination requirements, and we believe that workplaces are very efficient and an effective way to make sure people get vaccinated or tested one time per week, and verifying in the workplace that someone is vaccinated does not place an ongoing burden on vaccinated people. as to travel, we are taking further action to double the fines for noncompliance of masking on airlines, so that is a tsa action announced yesterday. overall, we have a strong track record that shows we are pulling
available levers to require vaccinations, and not taking any measures off the table. let me do one more question. >> last question. abc news. >> thank you. as much as the covid response has been, i am curious how you will enforce the new mandates president biden has put forth. we are seeing many gop governors already have pushed back. do you have an update on the percentage of people in the hospital and vaccinated. last week was 97%. do you have any update and with the new estimate might be? that would be helpful. >> this changes over time. as we have more people
vaccinated, with the delta variant, we are seeing more people in the hospital who have been vaccinated, but what i want to reiterate is it is still well over 90% of people who are in the hospital are in vaccinated. we still have more than 10 times the number of people in the hospital who are in vaccinated compared to vaccinated. >> jeff, can i add one broader point? >> please. >> the broader question about seniors, kids, and how we protect them, the measures the president announced yesterday are really important part of protecting seniors and kids, even though they may not be in the workplace in larger numbers. here is why. we know that the key to reducing transmission is getting more people vaccinated, and even if you are young and healthy and are not worried about the
consequences to yourself, you could pass the virus on to other people, and that is why this collective responsibility of society to make sure we are taking care of her own health, but removing chances we could pass the virus on to people who are more vulnerable, is important, and that's what the president asked us to do, reduce transmission, protect lives, and protect our children as well. >> that is a good transition to the last part of the question, which is, from day one, the president has been clear that covid, the pandemic, is a public health issue, not a political issue. and that is how it has been addressed. the president has been clear he will not hesitate to take strong actions like he did yesterday to protect workers in the american people and accelerate our path out of this pandemic. we know that vaccination requirements work. we see significant increases in vaccination rates at companies,
health care systems, universities to implement faxing requirements, tyson foods, telling its employees they need to be vaccinated no later than november 1, at that point, only 45% of the workforce was vaccinated. now that is over 72%. united airlines, when they announced the vaccination requirement a few weeks ago, since then, more than half of its unvaccinated employees at united have gotten vaccinated, and they still have weeks to go before their deadline, so vaccination requirements work, and that is why so many organizations have come out in support of the president's plan that he announced last evening, the business roundtable, the american medical association, and importantly, local, on the ground public health officials have applauded the president's plan, so let me also remind you that it is vaccination requirements that are the current standard employed by so
many corporations. the president's actions will accelerate that number of companies across the to keep its own employees safe. thank you for today's briefing. we look forward to seeing you next week. thank you. >> coming up tonight. from may 2004, rudy giuliani testifying before the september 11 commission on their response to the terror attacks. former secretary of state, condoleezza rice and jay matus reflecting on the 20 any -- 20th anniversary of september 11. george w. bush administration officials recount their experiences from that day. >> c-span's or unfiltered view
of government. we are funded by these president come -- companies and more. including this one. ♪ >> they support c-span as a public service along with these other providers, giving you from proceed to democracy. >> on may 19, 2004, rudy giuliani testified before the september 11 commission. he discussed the cities emergency response -- cities emergency response to the terrorist attacks. this is two hours.