Federal public health experts and members of the White House COVID-19 response team are holding their inaugural briefing Wednesday on the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, after President Joe Biden announced plans to ramp up the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccines to states and territories in the coming days.
The group will take questions from reporters one day after the president said his administration is “bringing back the pros to talk about COVID in an unvarnished way.” Scientists and federal health officials working on the coronavirus response are expected to host briefings several times each week focusing on the pandemic.
How to watch the press briefing on the COVID-19 response
- What: The White House COVID-19 Response Team and federal public health officials hold a press briefing
- Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
- Time: 11 a.m. ET
- Location: Virtual
- Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
The following will participate in Wednesday’s briefing:
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the president
- Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force chair
- Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team
- Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator
Mr. Biden has been blunt in warning of the difficulties facing the country as the coronavirus crisis rages on. The U.S. surpassed 25 million confirmed cases of the virus this week, and experts predict the death toll will top 500,000. The president has signed a series of executive actions designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, including requiring masks in certain places, and pledged to administer 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days in office.
The vaccine rollout, however, has been rocky, and Mr. Biden has acknowledged meeting his vaccination goal will be a challenge.
To accelerate the pace of vaccinations and ramp up supply, the White House announced Tuesday that federal weekly allocations of vaccines to states, territories and Native American tribes will increase from 8.6 million to 10 million beginning next week. That rate will continue for the next three weeks. Governors will also start receiving a three-week forecast of their vaccine allocations, which will provide additional time for them to prepare their distribution plans, the White House said.
Mr. Biden said the federal government is planning to secure 200 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines — 100 million of Pfizer’s vaccine and 100 million of Moderna’s vaccine — bringing the government’s total vaccine order to 600 million doses, up from 400 million. With 600 million doses, 300 million Americans will be able to receive vaccinations by the end of the summer, as both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots.
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