Bee News Daily Evening SpotLight: Biden Delivers Remarks to NIH Employees

BETHESDA, MD (February 11, 2021)— President Joe Biden delivers remarks to the National Institutes of Health staff. Happening now. Tune in here.

Highlights:

  • “Mask up, America,” Biden says, speaking at the . “Mask up.” 
  • “We’re on track to surpass the goal that I set out on Day 1,” Biden says, referring to his goal to administer 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days. “I believe not only will we reach that, we’ll break that. Like I said before, that’s just the floor.”
  • Biden announced that Pfizer to : “We’re now on track to have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July,” he said, adding when he started three weeks ago there lacked “a plan.”
  • When touring the lab facilities at NIH Biden literally toured the tabletops where the covid19 vaccines was designed over a weekend under President Trump to save lives.  Biden said to the NIH staff  “My predecessor, to be very blunt about it, did not do his job.” 
  • Biden announced, the USA has purchased of 200 million vaccines — 100 million more Pfizer,100 million more from Moderna. “We’re on track to surpass the goal that I set out on Day 1,” Biden says, referring to his goal to administer 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days. “I believe not only will we reach that, we’ll break that. Like I said before, that’s just the floor.”

Remarks by President Biden During Tour of Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory

National Institutes of Health

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we talked about the variants, and I’ll — rather than Joe Biden, the lawyer, explain the variants — I think I understand it — but I think it’s important that, Doctor, you talk about the variants and what we’re anticipating and what we think the situation is going to be.

DR. FAUCI: The 117 — that’s the UK variant that we feel the modelers are going to tell us is going to be dominant by the end of March — the vaccines that we have now look pretty good against being able to prevent infection and certain disease.

The South African variant is a little bit more problematic. It diminishes the capability of the vaccines to induce the virus’s — the antibodies that would suppress it. But it doesn’t completely eliminate it, and we know that from studies with other vaccines in South Africa, where it went down to maybe 50 percent efficacy. But it was very good in preventing severe disease. In fact, there were no hospitalizations or deaths.

The bottom line is: We take it seriously. We’re following it. And if necessary, we’re able to make boosts that reflect the variants in question.

Q Are you upset with the state of the rollout before you got here, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I’m not. I think — look, these folks have been absolutely amazing. What I was upset with is not having all the facts that were available to the last outfit, that we did not know.

So we were under the distinct impression there was significantly more vaccine available to begin to be distributed; that it was a distribution problem — which it is and was, but that wasn’t the main problem; it was having enough. And then getting — you know, there’s a big difference — the logistical difference between having a vaccine sent to the States in bulk and refrigerated, and having vaccinators with the paraphernalia to put it into a vial and stick it in someone’s arm — is a very different and logistical problem — difficult problem.

So there’s the vaccine. There is the access to the vaccine, in terms of how you get it where it has to be. That is a giant logistical issue, and we’re solving that now.

For example, we are, as of — was it today, Jeff? We’re doing — we’re making sure that all these federal systems, community —

MR. ZIENTS: Community health centers.

THE PRESIDENT: — community health centers that are federally run — we are getting them — what day are we getting —

MR. ZIENTS: Starting next week.

THE PRESIDENT: Starting next week, they’ll get —

MR. ZIENTS: And pharmacies start today.

THE PRESIDENT: And the pharmacies start today. We thought, by listening — at least my team did — between the time we were elected and the time somebody recognized we were elected, that we thought that it was well underway; that the drugstores were beginning — you know, all the places — the Walmarts of the world — were ready. But it turned out they weren’t. And so we — it’s been a hell of a learning process.

But you have done an enormous, enor- — all — every other scientist I’ve talked to across the board said the idea that it would end in less than a year — you’d come up with a vaccine —

4:15 P.M. EST

Source: White House

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