Yesterday Joe Biden said the country was on track to have enough vaccines for every adult in the country by the end of May. In a sideswipe at former president Donald Trump’s Covid efforts, the president said “When we came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. We rectified that.”
Here’s a clip from his address on coronavirus yesterday.
The White House Covid response team also emphasised the way that they have pulled forward the ambition to vaccinate every adult in the US – in gif form.
According to CDC data, at least 50 million adults in the US have now received at least their first shot of a Covid vaccine – including Dolly Parton, who got a job of the Moderna vaccine that she helped fund.
Welcome to today’s live coverage of US politics. Here’s a catch-up on where we are, and a little of what we can expect to see today:
- Joe Biden said that the US expects to have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May, two months earlier than anticipated.
- Biden also announced he would be using the powers of the federal government to direct all states to prioritize vaccinating teachers and said the federal government would provide the doses directly through its pharmacy program.
- His administration said that the drugmaker Merck would help produce Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved shot.
- There were 53,544 new Covid cases, and 1,819 further deaths in the US. Hospitalization levels are now down to 46,388 across the country.
- Republican governors have seized on the declining numbers to start re-opening the economy. Despite experts warning a premature lifting of restrictions could spark another surge in infection, Texas’ Greg Abbot announced he was rescinding the state’s mask mandate and business would be able to operate at 100% from next week.
- Neera Tanden withdrew as a Cabinet nominee after facing opposition. In an ironic demonstration of “cancel culture” in action, Republican senators cited Tanden’s tweets in opposing her nomination for director of the budget office.
- The Senate Finance committee will vote today on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to run the Department of Health and Human Services.
- The Senate homeland security committee and the Senate rules and administration committee will hold their second joint hearing on the Capitol insurrection at 10am ET (1500 GMT), with testimony from senior DHS and FBI officials.
- The White House Covid response team will give their latest press briefing at 11am, and Jen Psaki gives a briefing at 12.30pm.
- At 1.45pm President Biden holds a bipartisan meeting on cancer in the Oval Office which Vice President Kamala Harris will also attend. At 5pm Biden takes part in a virtual event with the House Democratic Caucus.