President Joe Biden will be speaking Friday afternoon aboutand the effort to vaccinate Americans, as his self-imposed July 4 deadline for 70% of American adults to have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine approaches.
At this point, the administration says that over 175 million Americans have gotten their first shot — almost two-thirds of all adult Americans. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday that 87% of seniors have received their first shots, as well as 74% of adults who are 40 years of age and older. Asked about whether the White House would reach its 70% goal by Independence Day, Zients was confident that the threshold would be reached this summer, though he was vague about the date.
“We are going to get to 70%,” he said. “And we’re going to continue across the summer months to push beyond 70%.”
How to watch Biden’s remarks on COVID-19 vaccination
What: President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 and his administration’s vaccination program
Date: June 18, 2021
Time: 2:15 p.m. ET
Location: The White House
Follow: live updates on CBSNews.com
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced a commitment of $3.2 billion to developing antiviral pills to treat COVID-19. At the briefing Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters that while vaccines are still “the centerpiece of our arsenal” in fighting the disease, antivirals would complement them. He explained that those who are more vulnerable, like those who are immunosuppressed and may not receive as much protection from vaccines, could be helped by antivirals that treat COVID-19.
And antivirals, Fauci said, would also provide “a line of defense against other unexpected emerging things, like variants of concern that we are currently dealing with.” The funding will be used both to accelerate clinical testing of promising drugs that are already being developed and to discover new medications.