U.S. President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Joe Biden asserted that every American would have access to a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of July, a picture much sunnier than one he sketched last week. 

Biden’s comments came during Tuesday evening’s CNN Town Hall. Last week, Biden warned that even though his administration had secured 200 million more doses to cover the U.S. population, logistical challenges still exist to getting them all vaccinated. The nation’s top disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was even more optimistic a few days earlier, when he said vaccines should be open to everyone — he called it “open season” — by the end of April. But Fauci recanted Tuesday, saying the vaccines won’t be widely available until May or even June. 

The White House also told state governors Tuesday that they would receive their biggest dose of vaccines to date, a 23% increase over the previous week and a 57% increase since Biden took office. More than two million doses were sent to pharmacies. 

“This program will expand access to neighborhoods across the country,” said Jeff Zients, Biden’s COVID-19 coordinator. 

Biden reframed his goal during the town hall of having a majority of kindergarten through eighth grade schools open five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office. He clarified that he meant K-8 schools because “those are the easiest to open.” As a part of meeting that goal, Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday that teachers should be prioritized to get the vaccine along with other front-line workers. 

The White House said 1.7 million doses were being administered daily, but a more appropriate goal, experts said, would be three million shots per day. Experts said they understood why modest goals were set, as vaccines aren’t easy to manufacture and distribute, but the supply now calls for ramping up.  

“I’m not hearing a plan,” Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert at Baylor College of Medicine, said. “In the public statements, I don’t hear that sense of urgency.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

U.S. Covid-19 Vaccinations Reveal Big Racial Disparities – Bloomberg – 2/16/2021
The U.S. government promised a fair rollout of the vaccine, but distribution so far isn’t equitable. Our initial findings suggest vaccines are reaching White and Asian populations faster than Black and Hispanic people, though getting a complete picture of nationwide disparities remains a challenge.

‘We Don’t Know For Certain’ — Biden Doesn’t Want To ‘Overpromise’ But Hopes The Pandemic ‘Is Going To Be Done’ In A Year – Daily Caller – 2/16/2021
President Joe Biden stopped short of listing a specific point in time when life will return to normal following the coronavirus pandemic after being asked Tuesday night, but he hoped that by “next Christmas” the country would be in a “very different place.”

How will we know we’ve reached herd immunity? – Associated Press – 2/17/2021
Health officials around the world are racing to vaccinate enough people to stop the spread of COVID-19, but what qualifies as “enough” is still an open question. The goal is to get to “herd immunity,” which is when enough people have immunity, either from vaccination or a past infection, to stop uncontrolled spread.

Team Biden is still pushing blatant lies about the Trump vaccine plan – New York Post – 2/16/2021
Why is Team Biden sticking to its ridiculous “Trump had no vax-distribution plan” claim? […] The “no strategy” line seems designed to give the new administration a ready scapegoat if anything does go wrong, which is both cheap and shameful.

A Different Early-Bird Special: Have Vaccine, Will Travel – New York Times – 2/17/2021
Across the United States, older people have been among the first in line to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations. And among hotels, cruise lines and tour operators, the data is clear: Older travelers are leading a wave in new travel bookings. 

After getting a Covid-19 vaccine, I thought about my son – CNN – 2/17/2021
We qualified because of our age, and because we are primary caregivers to our son, Sean, who is now 34. He has autism, pervasive developmental disabilities, along with respiratory issues. But as we walk, Linda turns towards me and asks, “Why are you squeezing my hand so hard?” I realize that my mind has shifted and my vise grip reveals another source of tension — anger.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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