WASHINGTON – In what has become something of a model, President Biden announced on Tuesday that he had exceeded his own relatively modest pandemic-related pledge, in which case all American adults would be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine by May 1.
Speaking from the White House, the president said states must be fully eligible by April 19. On that date, he said, “Every adult in every state – every adult in this country – is eligible to go online to get a COVID Vaccination. He previously said 90% of Americans would be eligible on April 19, with the remaining 10% becoming eligible on May 1.
Earlier today, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the revised target for 100% eligibility by April 19 “brings clarity to the American public.” Of course, the White House could have provided that rosier schedule from the start, but that would have deprived the administration of another opportunity to brag about exceeding its self-imposed deadlines.
The wording of Tuesday’s pledge also underscored a complex reality: becoming vaccine eligible is not the same as being given a vaccine.
In fact, the wait for a vaccine could increase as expanding eligibility increases demand. The Biden administration recently opened mass vaccination sites while also expanding a federal program that will allow 40,000 pharmacies nationwide to administer injections. These measures could help meet any increased demand on April 19.
To a large extent, Tuesday’s announcement was lacking in any substantive policy changes, although it was likely to force states to move through their levels of people eligible to receive a vaccine more quickly. Indeed, when it comes to influencing the way a state administers its vaccinations, the president’s only real power is the tyrant chair in his office.
And even without Biden’s prompting, states have recently extended vaccination on their own, with 36 now offering vaccinations to anyone 16 years of age or older. Many have moved away from complex formulas intended to address racial equity in favor of a simpler age-based approach.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain acknowledged the confusing vaccination guidelines in a Twitter message on Tuesday. “All 50 states. Every adult. No more priorities or rules to check on the Internet ”, Klain wrotee. “ANY ADULT can be vaccinated in ANY STATE starting April 19.”
At another event earlier Tuesday, Biden said that soon “everyone over the age of 18” would “just be able to come in automatically” and receive a vaccine, without having to register for the advanced. This would mark a radical change from the way vaccines. have been distributed so far.
The president also announced that 150 million people had been vaccinated across the United States, meaning the goal of 200 vaccinations by his 100th day in office was relatively easy to achieve.
The White House has used regular “updates” on the coronavirus to tout its own accomplishments, including increasing vaccine production through the use of defense production and the provision of related aid. immunization to states and localities through the US bailout, President $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus package.
For the most part, these updates aim to remind the American public that Biden is firmly in control of a predicament, which regularly plagued his predecessor. Biden has received a much higher number of polls for his handling of the coronavirus.
The president now has to deal with an increasingly restless population and, on the other hand, more transmissible strains of the coronavirus which seem to make the youngest in some parts of the country nauseous.
Pushing back the vaccine eligibility deadline was one way of signaling that the end is near, if not exactly here. “We are still in a lifetime in a lifetime race against this virus,” Biden said, while promising that “better times are ahead”.
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