“We can do this. We have the resources,” the president said. “We just have to choose to use them.”
Increasing the pace of the nation’s vaccination effort has been a top priority for the Biden administration, beginning with the president’s goal of administering 100 million doses within the first 100 days of his presidency. As part of that effort, Biden said Thursday that the NFL agreed to make available all of its stadiums for inoculation sites.
Biden was at the NIH to tour its vaccine center with his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, who runs the agency’s infectious-disease arm, and NIH director Francis Collins. The president praised the agency’s scientists for their contributions to developing the Moderna vaccine and expressed optimism that the nation would surpass his initial vaccination goal.
“To all of you, your work made possible the remarkable rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines we have today. It’s incredible,” Biden said. “On behalf of a grateful nation, I want to thank you and your families for your work and your sacrifice.”
Biden spoke with a mask on, even though he has been vaccinated, and emphasized the need for Americans to wear masks in public spaces to prevent the virus’ spread. Wearing a mask is “a patriotic responsibility,” he said — noting that it is one of the most effective measures for stopping Covid, short of a vaccine.
January was one of the deadliest months of the pandemic for the United States. Nearly half a million Americans have died from Covid-19.