(PresidentialWire.com)- Finally, the White House’s medical advisors are admitting some positive news about the pandemic.
On Sunday, Jeff Zients, the COVID-19 response coordinator for the Biden White House, said America is getting closer to having the coronavirus pandemic under control. He said health officials are now turning their focus on getting more Americans to get vaccinated against the virus.
In talking on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, Zients said:
“I would say we are turning the corner.”
Right now, roughly 58% of adults in America have gotten at least one shot of one of the COVID-19 vaccines. The goal now, Zients said, is to build that number up even more. The challenge is building confidence in the vaccines to get enough people to agree to get it. This will ultimately mitigate the virus’ spread and that of the variants.
Health officials in the U.S. are trying to meet the goal of President Joe Biden to have 70% of all American adults have at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot by July 4. If that happens, Zients said it would help the country sustain a much lower level of infections throughout the year.
What’s more, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said if the goal were to be met or even exceeded, another surge in COVID-19 infections would be unlikely.
He told NBC recently:
“The larger proportion of the population that’s vaccinated, the less likelihood that in a season like the coming fall or winter you’re going to see a significant surge. That’s the reason why vaccinations are so important. That’s the wild card that we have now that we didn’t have last fall or last winter.”
Another positive development with vaccines is that the FDA this week awarded Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization for 12 to 15 year olds. This means that by fall, it’s possible most middle and high school-age students can be vaccinated, if their parents choose that route.
Despite vaccines increasing around the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has still said that fully vaccinated people should still wear masks. This applies to situations in which fully vaccinated people will be attending events outdoors in a crowded setting or indoors with people who may not be vaccinated.
The CDC has already released guidance that said fully vaccinated households can congregate with other fully vaccinated households without masks.
Zients defended this guidance, but other health experts have questioned whether it is still too strict. They have gone as far as saying removing the mask mandate for people who are fully vaccinated — whether outdoors or indoors — may encourage more people to get vaccinated.
Over time, Zients said the CDC would update the guidance to allow more mask mandates to be done away with. In the meantime, he encouraged Americans to stick it out, even if they are experiencing mask fatigue.
“We’re getting there. And the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and brighter. Let’s keep up our guard.”