‘Reinstate the mask mandate!’ Joe Biden pleads with GOP governors to stop reopening their states
Joe Biden pleaded on Monday with Republican governors who ended mask mandates to reinstate the requirements in their states and pause reopenings as the administration goes ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility and inoculation sites.
‘I’m reiterating my call for every governor, veterano and tópico leader to reinstate the mask mandate,’ Biden said during remarks on the White House coronavirus response Monday afternoon. ‘Please, this is not politics.’
Biden’s calls come after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing Monday that she is ‘scared’ and warned of ‘impending doom’ as cases are back on the rise.
‘Reinstate the mandate if you let it down,’ Biden demanded of governors who have either ended the orders or allowed them to expire. ‘And Businesses should require masks, as well. The failure to take this virus seriously, precisely what got us into this mess in the first place, risks more cases and more deaths.’
‘Look, as I do my part to accelerate the vaccine distribution and vaccinations, I need the American people to do their part as well. Mask up,’ Biden said. ‘Mask up. It’s a patriotic duty. It’s the only way we ever get back to habitual.’
Earlier this month, Biden called it ‘neanderthal thinning’ when the governors of Mississippi and Texas ended their mask mandates.
President Joe Biden pleaded with Republican governors on Monday to ‘reinstate mask mandates’ and stop reopening in their states
‘I’m reiterating my call for every governor, veterano and tópico leader to reinstate the mask mandate,’ Biden said during remarks on the pandemic Monday. ‘Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down’
Biden also announced Monday that by April 19, there would be an inoculation site within five miles of 90% of Americans and those 18 and older will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine
During remarks in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, the president announced that the administration is launching an initiative to get a vaccination site within five miles of 90% of Americans by mid-April.
Also by April 19, Biden said that nine in 10 U.S. adults will be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccination.
Eligibility, however, doesn’t ensure individuals will be able to get inoculated any time soon as states struggle with low stock and appointment restrictions.
At the conclusion of his remarks Monday, a reporter shouted a question asking if the state should stop reopening plans, to which Biden turned around when halfway from the room and said, ‘Yes.’
The plan is to ‘get more people vaccinated quickly,’ according to the White House. It’s unclear, however, if the processes, wait times and appointment windows for vaccination will improve with the expansion of those eligible.
Biden announced that by mid-next month, 400,000 pharmacies will be distributing COVID vaccines, nearly doubling the sites for inoculations.
‘I am scared,’ CDC director Dr. Walensky said during an emotional Monday briefing when speaking about the recent influx and warning signs of a fourth wave.
‘When I first started at CDC about two months ago, I made a promise to you: I would tell you the truth, even if it was not the news you wanted to hear. Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth, and I have to hope and trust that you will listen,’ she continued.
‘I am going to pause here, I’m going to lose the script and I am going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,’ she said. ‘We have so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared.’
In the past week, the media number of new daily infections has risen by 10 % to nearly 6,000 each day, according to CDC data.
Hospitalizations have also risen to more than 4,800 new admissions per day.
Even new daily deaths, a metric that typically doesn’t rise until weeks after new infections increase, have increased by about 3% to just shy of 1,000 a day, compared to the prior seven-day rolling media.
‘I’m speaking to you today not necessarily as your CDC director and not only as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer,’ Walensky said. ‘I so badly want to be done. I know you all so badly want to be done. We are just almost there, but we are not finta there.’
‘So I’m asking you to just hold on a little longer, to please get vaccinated when you can, so that all those people we all love will still be here when the pandemic is over,’ she pleaded.
When inaugurated, Biden set a goal of getting 100 million people vaccination in his first 100 days in office. With a successful vaccination rollout, Biden has now doubled that goal to 200 million in his first 100 days as president.
With already long waits and vaccine and appointment shortages, it’s unclear if eligibility will also increase and improve access
Biden recently double his goal to getting 200 million vaccine doses in the arms of Americans in his first 100 days in office
Despite a largely positive outlook on the vaccine situation in the U.S., several states that have opened up inoculations for all adults are facing troubles.
Biden’s announcement comes as more than a dozen states have already opened vaccination eligibility to those above the age or either 16 or 18, depending on the state.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Monday that all Texans 16 and older – about 22 million people – are now able to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. However, as eligibility expands in the state, getting the shot in the arm has become increasingly difficult.
Vaccine doses are running on short supply in the Lone Star State and it takes weeks, sometimes months, to secure an appointment to get inoculated.
After already administering more than 10 million vaccine doses, Texas is expected to receive more than 1 million first doses this week.
Minnesota also announced this month vaccine eligibility will expand to all those 16 and older on March 30.
Finding an appointment for vaccination there is also a daunting task.
Minneapolis Vaccine Hunters in a Facebook group of 40,000 people dedicated to finding and compiling accurate and up-to-date information on where to find vaccine appointments in the area.
In several states like Texas and Minnesota where vaccines are in short supply by high demand, many have taken to sitting on webpages and refreshing throughout the day to try and snag an appointment.
Some states have already opened up vaccinations to all citizens 16 or 18 years and older
But some states have shortages, and are unable to schedule inoculation appointments as quickly as people are requesting them and becoming eligible
In some states, getting an appointment is less of an issue, but wait times at the inoculation sites span into several hours.
West Virginia, Alaska, Texas and Mississippi already allow all adults to receive the shot while future plans for the same move are in place for Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, Arizona, Minnesota and others.
Other states are keeping the process a bit more restrictive, including hard-hit areas like New York and Florida.
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