Although Paxlovid pills have been relatively scarce since they were authorized late last year, Mr. Biden said in his speech on Tuesday that “Pfizer is working overtime to get us one million pills this month and more than double that next month.”
According to the New York Times database, there are an average of 60,000 new U.S. case per day. This is significantly lower than the daily average of 800,000. in January, when Omicron was at its peak. However, it is still higher than the daily caseload in June last year, before Delta triggered a summer surge.
Despite the White House claiming that things are improving and federal guidelines recommending that 70 percent of Americans stop wearing masks, large numbers of people are still at risk. Children younger than 5 years old are not eligible for vaccines. On Monday, New York State health officials released data showing that Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is much less effective in preventing infection in 5- to 11-year-olds than in adolescents or adults.
An estimated seven million Americans are more susceptible to severe Covid than others due to their weak immune systems, illnesses, or other disabilities. Last week, the White House announced it was taking several steps in order to make masks and other tests more accessible to these groups.
But Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist at Yale University, said that with mask mandates dropping around the country, the administration — and in particular the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which relaxed its mask guidance last week — had put too much of a burden on vulnerable Americans to protect themselves.
One mask mandate that will not be dropped — at least not for the next few weeks — is the one Mr. Biden imposed on airplanes, trains and other forms of travel. Jeffrey D. Zients was the White House coronavirus coordinator and said that it would be in effect until March 18, but that the C.DC.. It is currently being reviewed.
In his State of the Union address Mr. Biden asked Congress to provide additional funding to the administration to stockpile even more pills, masks, and tests. He said that Americans who ordered at-home tests via a government website called covidtests.gov would have the ability to order more next Wednesday.
“I cannot promise a new variant won’t come,” Mr. Biden said. “But I can promise you we’ll do everything within our power to be ready if it does.”
Source: NY Times