US Citing U.S. vaccination milestone, Biden says 'the message is getting through'
The Mask Mandate Debate Is Back. Here’s What to Know.
Amid the Delta-fueled wave of U.S. COVID cases, universal mask mandates are back on the table and as politically fraught as ever.A week ago, Los Angeles County became the first major metropolitan area to reinstate a mask mandate in indoor public spaces for both unvaccinated and vaccinated residents. And amid a nationwide surge of new COVID-19 fueled by the more transmissible Delta variant, America’s largest county isn’t the only place where universal mask mandates are back on the table. The Delta wave has thus reignited the already politically charged debate over face mask mandates.
WASHINGTON — President Biden celebrated a belated milestone on Tuesday, saying that achieving the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of U.S. adults for COVID-19 “will make a big difference” in helping end a pandemic made worse by the spread of the Delta variant.
“In the last seven days alone, nearly 3 million Americans have gotten their first shot. That’s the highest seven-day total in a month,” Biden said in a speech delivered from the White House, adding, “The message is getting through, apparently.”
Touting the uptick in vaccinations in states hard hit by Delta, Biden rattled off more statistics from places where inoculation rates have lagged and hospitalizations have spiked over the last few weeks.
Experts Slam Biden's ‘Unconvincing’ Push for Vaccine Mandate
The White House is set to announce the largest vaccine mandate in modern history in the coming days in response to growing concern over the delta variant of COVID-19, the latest and most abrupt change in a pandemic response strategy that has yet to get the virus under control. Federal workers and contractors will soon be required to prove that they are fully vaccinated, or will otherwise be required to wear masks and undergo routine COVID-19 testing, according to a source familiar with the upcoming mandate.
Initially, he had set a July 4 goal of reaching the 70 percent milestone, but as new case numbers and deaths from COVID-19 fell dramatically throughout the first half of the year, the pace of Americans seeking inoculations plummeted.
In his speech, Biden lauded private companies that have instituted vaccine mandates for workers and noted that “even Fox [News] has vaccination requirements.”
Last week, the president drew criticism from Republicans when he announcedfor government workers and contractors.
But he continued to insist that his administration’s efforts to curb the pandemic were based on the sound advice of public health officials.
States turn to COVID testing mandate to increase vaccinations, will it be enough?
New York City and California are turning to a COVID testing mandate for unvaccinated public employees. Health experts say this could boost confidence in the shots. Barun Mathema, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told ABC News that the plan is a very effective incentive on paper, and it will have a bigger impact outside of the public sector when it comes to confidence in the vaccines.
“This isn’t about politics. The virus doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. This is about life and death,” he said.
While the pace of vaccination has increased in recent weeks, the spread of the Delta variant and an uptick in deaths and hospitalizations caused by it have undoubtedly proved a major driver. As a result, Biden’s message on Tuesday was a far cry from “mission accomplished,” and he again took pains to point out that America is now in the grips of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” which he called “a largely preventable tragedy that’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
The president was also critical, however, of the Republican leadership in states that have banned mask mandates for public spaces and school districts, and noted that Florida and Texas accounted forin the U.S.
"What are we doing? COVID-19 is a national challenge. We have to come together ... as a country to solve it,” Biden said.
Covid vaccine mandates are on the rise. Will that move the needle?
Vaccination requirements may capture more people who haven't yet been inoculated. "Every little bit helps," a doctor said, but the true impact remains unclear."Every little bit helps," Dr. Aaron Carroll, the chief health officer of Indiana University who has written about the efficacy of vaccine mandates, said Wednesday. "The reason mandates work is because they're nudges. If we make the default 'Don't be vaccinated,' then a lot of people simply won't.
“I say to these governors: Please help. If you’re not going to help, at least get out of the way of people trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives,” he added.
Read more from Yahoo News:
Overnight Health Care: Study finds unvaccinated more than twice as likely to get COVID-19 reinfection | Half of total US population fully vaccinated | Federal workers who lie about vaccination status could be fined, removed .
Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care. President Biden paid homage to his former boss by sporting a tan suit during former President Obama's birthday week. Flashback to 2014 when Obama sparked controversy for wearing a tan suit during an address about Russia and ISIS.If you have any tips, email us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8.Today: Half of the entire U.S. population is now vaccinated. New CDC research shows that previous COVID infection is not nearly as protective as vaccination and federal employees' vaccine requirement comes with teeth.