(CNN) — The Biden administration hoped this week would serve as a time of celebration by reaching more than 100 million fully vaccinated American adults,
(CNN) The Biden administration hoped this week would serve as a time of celebration by reaching more than 100 million fully vaccinated American adults, and White House officials sought to reduce vaccinations by betting on newly exposed freedoms for those who are fully vaccinated, such as the ease of stopping wearing face masks when socializing outdoors with a small group of friends.
Despite declining COVID-19 cases and death rates, many Americans still live their lives in a gray area, with only 30% of the population fully vaccinated. The potential return to normal seems so tantalizingly close. However, many parents still struggle with how distracting it is to work from home with children under their feet, desperate for a full return of students to school.
The new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended this week that fully vaccinated people wear face masks for common indoor activities, from eating at a restaurant. even going to church, although the CDC relaxed the guidelines for some outdoor activities.
Meanwhile, many Americans are trying to get around the confusion about when to wear masks. They are also trying to understand whether summer travel will be safe, especially with children, and how much longer it will take for this nation to halt the spread of the virus considering that a quarter of adults show a stubborn resistance to getting vaccinated, this while the variants of the virus continue to circulate.
There is still a wide range of messages about covid-19 and what people can and cannot do at the state, local and federal level. For example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this Friday extended the mandate to use masks to travelers in airports and airplanes, trains, buses and boats, although some governors have already eliminated these requirements in their states. However, the TSA rule, which was scheduled to expire on May 11, has been extended until September 13.
On Friday, members of Biden’s covid-19 response team tried to project optimism and forecast brighter days for vaccinated Americans. Both the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined, with the US hitting the lowest average daily deaths reported in the past seven days since last July, according to a new CNN analysis conducted with data from the University. Johns Hopkins.
White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said Friday that the United States shipped 300 million doses this week, but once again emphasized that the pace of vaccines “will moderate and fluctuate” according to reports of a decrease in the vaccination process in some areas.
Faced with persistent questions from journalists about declining vaccine demand, he and his colleagues emphasized the increasingly intense focus on making it easier to vaccinate busy and homebound Americans while fighting the disease. misinformation about vaccines in order to get more people to get them.
“It is not unexpected, as we enter this next phase, that there would be more balance between supply and demand,” Zients said during this Friday’s briefing of the coronavirus task force. That makes it even more important that we make it easier to vaccinate people, that we continue, as the [director general de Sanidad de Estados Unidos] Dr. [Vivek] Murthy, to build confidence in vaccines and ensure fairness. ‘
“What’s unexpected is how quickly we’ve gotten here,” added Zients. “We know that this next phase will not be easy, but it was not easy to reach 220 million vaccines in the first 100 days.”
“Flood the area with accurate information”
A new CNN poll showed that a quarter of American adults say they will not get the coronavirus vaccine, and Republicans were the group most likely to say they would not get the vaccine. About 44% of Republicans expressed that opinion – compared to 28% of independents and 8% of Democrats. Resistance to vaccination was highest among younger Republicans.
Due to this indecision within the Republican party, some medical experts expected former President Donald Trump to film a public service announcement encouraging people to get vaccinated. Last week, the former president told Fox News that he “certainly would,” but so far he has not.
Overall, about 63% of Americans said in the CNN poll that they would feel comfortable returning to their normal routines; 32% said no and 4% said they had already done so.
Americans’ ability to safely return to their daily routines will depend on the government keeping up with vaccines. Most scientists say that to get to the point where the spread of the virus can be stopped, known as herd immunity, between 70% and 85% of the population needs to be protected by antibodies against the virus. infection naturally or by vaccination.
Given the importance of vaccinations to young Americans in meeting this threshold, recent comments by popular Spotify podcast host Joe Rogan sparked intense controversy this week after incorrectly stating that healthy young people did not need to be vaccinated.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the White House’s approach to combatting this type of vaccine misinformation will be to “flood the area with accurate information.”
Psaki told reporters that the White House is in the process of investing $ 3 billion in public campaigns across the country, a combination of funds for paid media and social media, as well as money for local programs to harness the influence of leaders. trusted community members to persuade Americans to get vaccinated.
Pressure to reopen
Even as the rate of vaccinations slows, the governors and mayors of the red and blue states are under pressure to reopen their economies. Biden has said he hopes Americans can gather in small groups to celebrate the 4th of July.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that New York City’s indoor dining capacity may expand to 75% on May 7. For his part, California Governor Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall election triggered in part by his covid-19 restrictions over the past year, has said he expects his state to be fully open by June 15. Disneyland California opened its doors for the first time in more than a year this Friday, but with limited capacity.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that he plans to fully reopen the city by July 1 because what we have seen in recent weeks has been amazing progress in terms of reducing levels of covid-19 greatly increasing the number of vaccines, “he told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on” New Day on Friday. ” The city will be subject to state guidelines, and a day earlier Cuomo, who is also a Democrat, said that he hoped New York cities could be open sooner, but indicated that he was “reluctant to make projections” because he believes they “are irresponsible.” .
“People are getting vaccinated and fighting COVID-19, and it’s working,” de Blasio said when asked to respond to Cuomo’s comments. “They are ready to return.”
When asked if the July 1 reopening was too early for New York, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told the White House covid-19 press conference that officials remain focused on vaccinate people, lowering case rates .
“If we can continue at this rate, case rates are going down, vaccinations are increasing, so I think July 1 would be a reasonable goal,” he said.
Yet when pressed on that question – whether Americans will continue to wear face masks in the interiors of restaurants and other spaces, for example – he said he did not want to make predictions about what life in the nation will be like by then.
“This virus has fooled us before,” he said.