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“No more confusing rules, no more confusing restrictions,” Biden said in remarks from the White House.
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The date is almost two weeks earlier than the previous deadline, May 1.
Biden also cautioned that the pandemic is not over, as he warned about cases on the rise again. He said that the virus was still spreading because too many people “think we are at the finish line.”
“We aren’t at the finish line,” Biden said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We still are in a life-and-death race against this virus.”
Biden said that they had made a “dramatic turnaround” in vaccine distribution since he took office, with more than 150 million shots administered. He has set a goal of 200 million by April 30, marking his 100th day in office.
The president also encouraged people to get the vaccine, as “we’re getting more and more data on just how effective” the shots are in curbing the virus.
At one point he showed a card from his pocket that contained his daily schedule and, on the back, the number of Covid-19 deaths so far in the U.S.: 554,064.
“What we do now will determine how many people we save or lose in April and May and in the month of June,” Biden said, as he reiterated a goal of return to normalcy by July 4.
Biden also was asked whether he supported moving the Masters golf tournament out of Georgia as a protest against the state’s new voting law. Major League Baseball announced last week that the All Star Game would be moved from Atlanta.
“That’s up to the Masters,” Biden said.
PREVIOUSLY: President Joe Biden plans to announce that he is setting an earlier deadline for states to make all adults eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
The new date will be April 19, from an earlier deadline of May 1, according to the Associated Press and other outlets.
Biden is scheduled to visit a vaccine site in Alexandria, VA on Tuesday, and also will provide an update on the fight against Covid-19. He also plans to announce that 150 million vaccines have been administered, as the administration has set a goal of 200 million by April 30, which marks the end of his first 100 days in office.
In their efforts to bring the pandemic under control, the White House has several times set targets, and then exceeded them. States already have been expanding eligibility, as vaccine supply shipments are stepped up.
Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Biden’s chief medical adviser, said on Morning Joe that while the country is not seeing a surge in new cases, there are concerns.
“I don’t want to say surge, because surge means you’ve got a really high increase,” he said. “We’re seeing it start to creep up now. So the real question is, is the efficacy of the vaccine going to prevent it from going up the way that we saw it in previous surges. I hope not. I don’t think so, because as long as we keep vaccinating people efficiently and effectively, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
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