Washington — President Biden on Monday will speak about the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and his administration’s vaccination efforts as fully vaccinated Americans begin shedding their masks in response to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC announced last week its relaxed guidance for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, allowing those Americans to forgo their face coverings and social distancing for most indoor and outdoor activities. The White House lifted its own mask requirement for fully vaccinated staff following the health agency’s announcement, and at least 18 states and some major retailers have announced plans to lose their mask mandates.
How to watch President Biden’s remarks
- What: President Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and vaccinations
- When: Monday, May 17
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: The White House
- Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above or on your mobile or streaming device
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Mr. Biden’s chief medical adviser,that the updated mask guidance from the CDC was “based on the evolution of the science” and said he hopes the relaxed rules will incentivize unvaccinated Americans to get their shots.
Fauci cited three factors as driving the change from health officials: an accumulation of data showing the “real-world effectiveness” of the vaccines; new studies showing the vaccines protect against new coronavirus variants; and information showing it’s unlikely a vaccinated person who becomes infected with the coronavirus transmits it to someone else.
“The accumulation of all of those scientific facts, information and evidence brought the CDC to make that decision to say now when you’re vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask, not only outdoors, but you don’t need to wear it indoors,” he said.
Fauci said he expects the CDC will release more specific guidance for fully vaccinated people in particular settings, like the workplace.
While supply of the coronavirus vaccines has been outpacing demand, federal officials expect vaccination rates to rise with the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine for emergency use in 12- to 15-year-olds.
The nation last week surpassed 250 million vaccine doses administered in Mr. Biden’s 114 days in office and is moving toward meeting the president’s goal of administering at least one vaccine dose to 70% of the adult population by July 4.
As of Monday morning, 60% of U.S. adults have received at least one shot, according to the CDC, and 47% of adults are fully vaccinated.