The U.S. is currently administering 2 million COVID-19 vaccines per day, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number surpasses the 1.5 million daily doses that Biden committed to when he first took office.
At this rate, the president’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the end of April will be reached ahead of schedule. At least 54 million people ― or 16% of the U.S. population ― have already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC said.
Biden on Tuesday said the U.S. would have sufficient vaccine supply for all adults by the end of May, thanks to the Food and Drug Administration’s recent authorization of a third vaccine. But challenges remain for state and city governments tasked with distributing the vaccines, and Biden has warned Americans to continue to stay socially distanced and to wear masks as the nationwide vaccination drive continues.
“I urge all Americans: Stay socially distanced, wear masks, get vaccinated when it’s your turn,” Biden said. “Now is not the time to let our guard down. People’s lives are at stake.”
More than half a million people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19, and tens of thousands of Americans continue to be sickened by the coronavirus every day. Still, several Republican governors, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, have moved this week to lift mask mandates and other coronavirus restrictions in their states ― despite warnings and condemnation from health officials.
Abbott and Reeves both cited declining hospitalizations and increasing vaccination rates to defend their decisions.
“With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” Abbott said as he vowed to open Texas “100%.”
Biden criticized such rationale as “Neanderthal thinking.”
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