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tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  May 19, 2022 11:31pm-12:20am EDT

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i'm joined by two people who don't need introductions. i want to start by taking about five minutes to talk about where we are in this pandemic and what's going on. if we take a step back and begin with where we are as a country with more than 100 million americans boosted we have a pretty high degree of immunity in the population. we seehe a lot of infections across the country. depending which tracker you use at about 100,000 inspections and we know the number of infections are higher than that. we don't know exactly how many but a lot of people are getting
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.diagnosed. there's a lot of infections across america. what's driving that and what is primarily driving that is the incredibly contagious variant and the wave of infection for january they are driving a lot of the increases in infection that we are seeing across the nation and that is a huge challenge so how are we thinking about this moment. we can get into more details later. we've got to do what we can to prevent infection. we've got to continue being on
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the lookout for new variants and continue to do that surveillance and last but certainly not least, we've got to take a global strategy flooding because we know that there is no domestic only strategy to a global pandemic. we've done an extraordinary job of m acquiring vaccines. things that have happened over the last few weeks and then funding and congress and then i will wrap up and turn over. weun have a third round of tests that you can get. what's that about, why are we doing that?
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resources that we had from arp to acquire and make sure we have an adequate number of tests we know the rapid test is a very effectivese way of keeping infections down. it would reduce the amount of i infections happening out there so this is one of the tools we have and one of the capabilities. we opened it up on monday to a third round. we've seen really impressive demands as of about 20 minutes ago when we got the latest set of numbers this opened up on monday. almost 8.5 million households across the country have ordered that next round of tests. we've made eight tests available. the reason is in the past we
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were able to and expanded that because of -- we want to make sure. i think that is going to be an import important part. how do we make sure they don't turn into severe illness under the leadership and the administration has done a good job of obtaining therapeutics. we put in a series of steps by letting pharmacies order directly from the federal government and expanded the sites and there will be more of that coming in the days andnn weeks ahead and to simplify the
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ordering and prescription process making sure they understood drug interactions mattered and what was eligible then we talk more broadly and what we have seen i think is a dramatic increase inn the use about fourfold increase just in the last month and the latest i about 20,000. we haven't seen an increase and despite the fact when you look at care is slower than one would expect and then death numbers continue to be low.
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a little bit about congress we've been spending a lot of time with our friends in congress making sure we have the resources to protect the american people. as i've laid out,ol the key toos and capabilities that we know reduce the severity, masking, testing, vaccination, therapeutics those are the major tools and as we go into the fall and winter we are looking at the data on this and making decisions and the expectation is that we will probably get a new generation and we certainly need to plan for that and i want to make sure we have enough resources to buy vaccines. i think that is absolutely critical. we do not have the resources to do that right now without
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additional fundingat in congress and for every american who wants one. wewe are using therapeutics to survive and at some point we will run out of thehe treatments we have. companies that are making them the u.s. government and no one in the united states is in negotiations with the company's because we don't have the resources the companies know that if we don't get more resources we will find a period of time when americans can look and see their friends and other- countries in europe and canada withse access to the treatments americans will not have. last but certainly not least on
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the issue of testing we have done a lot of workn to build up the domestic manufacturing and demand for tests when the numbers drop it was important to keep the demand high enough so companies could continue factoringan without additional resources shutting down the production line we will see them sell off their equipment and get out of the business and we may very well find ourselves without additional resources in the fall and rely on other countries and manufacturers outside the united states to make sure we can get past. we should be doing everything we can to make sure that scenario doesn't come to be.
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we are two years into this pandemic. we are in a better place than we were two years ago largely because of the capabilities of science, boosters, therapeutics, testing. all of that makes an enormous difference. i'm hopeful congress will continue to play that critical role offe. providing the resours and leadership. good morning everyone. it's great to be back with all of you again. over the past five weeks we have
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seen a steady increase in cases as mentioned. while cases remain much lower than during the surge in the past winter, the current daily average is now at about 94,000 cases per day, which is an increase nationally from about 26% over the previous week. and a threefold increase over the last month. while hospital admissions or increasing they are lower than they were during the omicron surge and now it's about 3,000 per day and that is an increase of about 19% over the previous week. weou are seeing an average at about 275 per day. while each person lost to the tragedy and nearly 300 deaths a day is still far too many. the vaccines prevention measures and treatment options are working to save lives however, we know those that are not
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consistently using the tools whenen recommended continue to remain vulnerable to the serious disease hospitalizations and deaths. as a shared we have many tools to prevent the disease from covid-19 including vaccination and boosters. the vaccine effectiveness cohort studies have shown covid-19 vaccines generally remain effective in preventing severe disease including protected against omicron but we know that it becomes less protective over time especially in the omicron area. this is one of the reasons the vaccine boosters are so important. one ofs our concerns for thoset risk as outlined on the slide which serves since the last vaccine dose for two different age o groups of adults those 50o 64 and those 65 and older. the blue bars indicate the percentage that lost as a part
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of their primary series and the% of people who was last vaccine dose was a booster dose. on the top graph, you can see among those, 62% have not received a vaccine in the last six months and on the bottom graph, among those 65 and older, 57% have more than six months since the last vaccine many of these individuals are eligible for another vaccine dose now. of the dose that may help strengthen the protection against infections, urgent care visits and especially hospitalizations and death. so whether it is your first booster or second, if you haven't had a dose since the beginning of december, 2021 and you are eligible, now is the time to get one. let me close with a brief word on the community levels. the community levels framework looks at a set of metrics
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including cases including hospitalizations and health system capacities. designed to be predictive anticipating where we will see further increases in cases in hospitalizations and death and meant to inform communities, local leaders and individuals and what should be implemented in the local settings. right now as shown live in an area with a medium or high community level. counties shown in yellow or orange. and an additional 8% of the u.s. population is living in a county with a medium or high covid-19 community level. so, areas currently with high levels we encourage the use of the prevention strategies like masking and public indoor settings and increasing access to testing and treatment.
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the levels can also be used to inform personal decisions on how to best protect one's self in oneself in areaswhere the levelh everyone should be using prevention measures and wearing ova mask in public indoor in areas with medium levels individuals should consider taking prevention measures based on their own risk wearing a mask, increasing the testing and especially before gathering with others indoors. and in any covid-19 community levels individuals may always choose to wear a mask to protect themselves from infection. as we are currently seeing a steady rise of cases c and parts of the country, we encourage everyone to use the menu of tools we have today to prevent further exception and severe disease including wearing a mask, getting tested, accessing
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treatment early and getting vaccinated or boosting especially if you are over 50 and if your last dose was more than five months ago. bituld like to dig a little deeper in the issue of the variance and put that in the context of what yout just heard regarding the increase a in cas. let's take a look at the global situation going from april 2021 to the present time and from left to right we found the evolution over time those that have progressively dominated the situation globally as determined by the sequencing of the various isolates throughout the world. and as you can see, we went from a group early on overtaken completely by delta and most
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recently overr the last six months we have seen omicron dominate. how doess that spell out with regards to the different ways that we have seen in the united states? last slide. we are looking at the united states now and again, going from left to right, we had the alpha wave, delta wave and big spike that's gone down over the last several weeks as we have seen increases in the cases. how does that relate to the evolution of the variance? next slide. the data are very clear and fascinating. if you go from the left to the right you see gradually over
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time over to period of months it was taken over. the purple got larger and larger until around the beginning of april, the end of march we started to see the very dark purple which was the 12.1. and when you see the gradual evolution of one particular variant overtaking another, there's a reason for that. here we see the same thing south africa was experiencing but only a littlee bit different than wt we are seeing in the united states because they went through the same evolution and other variant taking over another and
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now as we've heard from our south african colleagues, they are seeing ba four and five particularly in cape town. this is what they are currently seeing and it is expected that this particular dominant will continue. why is that the case? because this is a very simple schematic diagram of the increase transmissibility going from left to right. the big jump was from delta to omicron. that was an increase in transmissibility but within the sub lineage, you see what i've actually shown you on prior slides of why one particular has
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taken over the next one and as you go to the far right, that's what i just showed you on the southat african slide. so what does that tell us? next slide. as you've heard, we are experiencing c an increase in cases, certainly more since one under accounts because of the situation with regards to home tests people may not be reporting. we are seeing that due to the following. the increasedow transmissibiliti showed you on the step we are seeing the immunity to both protection and/or vaccination and i will get to that in a second what we can do about that. also as we know to the relaxation of the mitigation of people not wearing masks indoors
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and having a lot more indoor. so on the final slide, how do we need to the challenge that has been posed to us by the variance? let's look at some of the facts. if the variant will continue to merge if the virus circulates globally. a strong argument. lewe can keep it to the lowest possible level which is the best way to avoid variance because replication, the less mutation, the less variance. importantly, vaccines continue to provide strong protection against severe disease and that's the reason why as the cases go up and even more infections than are recorded in the cases, the discrepancy or
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the ratio between zahospitalization and cases is much less than it was for example in the delta. however, immunity does wayne and that is why it is so important itto stay up to date with vaccis and particularly boosters in the slidens just shown to you. again we can do very simple things like improving ventilation and indoor spaces where possible and to monitor the levels in your community by the color codes shown and to follow the guidance and recommendations for masks and other medications, now again as mentioned, treatments are now widely available. if you just tested positive, talk to a healthcare provider as soon as possible about treatment
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options including the test to treat. and finally, we do need more resources as all of us have said over and over the development of next-generation vaccines the therapeutics is critical and in order to do that, we need the resources we have been asking for. i will stop there. back to you. >> thank you. we are going to open up now to the q-and-a. we are going to take as many questions as possible.
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there is ath paper today showing the variant doesn't induce immunity against the other variance and i am curious looking forward if that might have an impact on continuing to talk to americans about vaccination orke other issues? >> i have not seen that paper since i was doing other things this morning. obbut looking at that very carefully, yes we are seeing even before that that omicron itself doesn't have the broader coverage of the other variant such as delta and alpha which is the reason why one has to be very careful and we are doing
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those studies about the what the next boost should be that includes the variant together with perhaps one of the other variance so we are aware of that but i haven't seen that particular paper. that is the reason we are doing studies right now to determine what the best boost would be as we get into the fall and early winter. >> next question at cnbc. >> i want to ask about this phenomenon that we are seeing with about 2% in the clinical trial when people are testing
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positive do you think there needs to be some federal guidance about isolation at that point if people are testing positive again they could potentially be contagious, how are you looking at that? >> it showed about 2% and about 1% in the placebo group. we are doing a lot of work right now to try to sort that out and help get real-world experience to date but if you think about it 20,000 people even if it was only 2% that would mean they are having rebalances everyo day so it is hard to know exactly how often. i think the key points that are important one is that the people that have the rebound are not getting particularly sick or ending up in the hospital. if the goal of the treatment was
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to prevent hospitalizations and death, it is doing thatt incredibly well so the rebound issue is something we are looking at very carefully but it isn't leaving to people getting particularly sick. on those that are contagious ore how we should be -- let me see if there's any thoughts on that. >> i will add we've always said in their recommendations that if you have symptoms you should put your mask on so if the symptoms we would recommend putting your mask back on. >> tony, any thoughts on that? >> just confirming what was just mentioned. instead of five days maybe there should be ten days and affirm
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personal privilege what is the under five vaccine it doesn't seem like there's as much urgency and that is a large population. >> do you want to start us off with the five versus ten days.ou >> we are in active discussions about the studies that we might do with our own study capability as well asre the people at pfiz. we've been in rather direct communications with them and continuede about the next studyo determine the course so that is eminent. we will not w only be talking about that but planning relatively soon. >> i think there is quite a bit of urgency now they have all of the examples of the data for the
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moderna. we've been hearing from colleagues that evaluation is moving as quickly as possible. and often people bring up some of the other pediatric vaccines to authorization it was a little bit shorter. this is the first pediatric vaccines that moderna has submitted all of its data for so there's a lot of data that the fda is going through. i think we all feel the urgency and we want to get this done as quickly as possible, but i think we also agree we want to get it done right. the conversations that i have had, as soon as they feel like they have the data analyzed they will make a a
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coming weeks is there anything you can do, can you get in line from what have you, giveus us update immediatee term looks like without funding from congress. >> on fda under 5 question, i heard again, this is really driven by fda.
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i heard from our colleagues they are looking at data they have in front of them. that is whatt they are focused on. they will make a determination as soon as they are able. that is -- that is what we want had for this them, they are not waiting for anything else. that is my expectation. our job is to make sure as soon as fda makes its determination it will go to the cdc, if they determine they get vaccine we'll make sure they are available as quickly as possible for kids under 5. >> the question of -- vaccine it takes '3 months to manufacture them. if we want to be ready for fall, it's not too early to start thinking about it. we have had, we had very
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preliminary conversations with the manufacturers. but the negotiations around it have not yet begun partly because we're waiting for resources. the truth that other countries areti in conversations with the manufacturers. starting to advance their negotiations. i don't know the details. my take is every day and every week we wait, we fall further behind in line. we're very committed to finding enough resources, we're looking across all of the other programs we have. asking where can we put some dollars to at least get some vaccines for fall and winter . to go into the fall and winter with zero vaccine, i am confident we'll find money to get some americans vaccinated.
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these are not decisions we want to have to make, we want congress to step up and fund our ability to make sure we get enough vaccines for all americans. >> let's go to ed o'keefe at cbs. >> thank you, doctors. for doing this. just a follow-up on the -- of question about the vaccines for those under five. realistically, are we weeks or months away? when you say doctor, that you feel that congress has been receptive to what you have been talking about in terms of funding, you can describe a little bit more than what is holding things up and how are they receiving the warnings you continue to put out there that if there is no money than as many as hundred million infectionss could be
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happening. >> i don't know any anyone else wants to take the under five question. any thoughts, tony? how you see the under 5. >> well, you said it clearly, important thing is that you want to leave the fda to do what they do well without unnecessary pressure or interference. they are totally aware of the fact that there is a pressing problem. they will do it as expeditiously as they possibly can. it is a process of getting all of the data and having the time and they don't wasteti time, to analyze the data and make a decision that the u.s. public will feel comfortable about, because they did it correctly and put all their resources into it. it wouldn't be appropriate for myself or any of us to give you days versus weeks
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versus months, they will do it as expeditiously as they can. >> on the issue of funding. i spent a lot of time up on the hill, i think about my one-on-one meetings and small group meetings, i met with more republicans than democrats i met with house and senate, i have been laying out what we need resources for and what the consequences are not getting ththe resources, what it means for what fall and winter may bring. there is a range of models out there of what we might see in fall and winter, we have a plan for a range of scenarios, including plan, for scenario where we don't get any more resources from congress. that would be terrible and there would be a lot of unnecessary loss of life. we'rean look for all scenarios
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and planning for them. at the end of the day, congress works the way it works, i remain confident that congress will pull through and give us the request that we put in. an emergency supplemental. i remain confident that congress will provide resources we need to protect the american people. >> we'll get to as many questions as possible, one per person. >> thank you. do you expect current uptick in omicron cases to continue as we hit the summer and traveld? months? should people begin reconsidering any plans they have? should they pack masks given uncertain situation? then, heading to the fall, winter. is there a number that you could put in range of how
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many unnecessary deaths there could be without resources? >> tony or rochelle? any thoughts on summer and expectations? >> yeah, maybe i'll pipe back to covid-19 community level maps that demonstrates some areas of increase infection and hospitalization in northeast. ande eastern corridor and upper midwest. we have seen with prior increasesin infections in you know different waves, have demonstrated this travels and has potential to travel across the country. i think important thing to recognize is that we have the tools to prevent it. we would ask you to wisely use these tools to. wet always said put your mask aside when infection rates are low and pick it up again
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when infection rates are higher, we have vaccines and boosters and treatments and people can use tests before they gather to work towards making sure you have a environment that is safer environment. we would ask people to engage in all of the activities they want to engage in but wisely, up-to-date with your vaccine, tested before you gather. if you have a high risk of infection in your area, put on the mask before you gather. >> i think asked about estimates, hard to make precise estimates, right now we've been doing, is we have been talking to modelers, most modelers don't have models as far out as november, december and january, we have been trying to get preliminary data. from a policy point of view,
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key can't go september without a sense of what fall and winter will bring, right now estimates are large. are wide. if you think about it, what is driving the estimates is how much immunity did the big wave we saw generate. if it generated a modest payment, we'll see more infections, what will happen with mitigation? it will remain low, there are a bunch of factors that will drive what happens. i think, are we going to have a new generation of vaccines? that will make a difference in fall or winter. if we have none or few that make a difference, there are t a lot of factors here. we scenario plan across all of them,we we try to not get in predication business but
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more of scenario business. to plan for it, and also lay those out in front of congress so they understand if they choose not to fund or fund appropriately with resources we need, what the likely consequences of that might be. >> last question. to jeff reuters. >> thank you. my question is a broad one about eligibility for treatmentne and vaccines. you mentioned talking with doctors and fact that it is available for a lot of people, a lot of doctors tell folks they are not eligible, is that a disconnect between the administration and doctors not knowing or supply maybe not as great as you are suggesting? and then probably on vaccines, you mentioned the fact that if people are
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eligible they should get the next boost. what about those under 50, a lot of people who are getting omicron again. who would like to take another vaccine or a booster. will eligibility open up for them. >> let me start by talking about treatments then to rochelle for vaccines. jeff, the way i think about this, when we first got authorize we had limited supply, message was keep it for highest people, that scarcity mind set, sets in, and it takes a lot of effort to get people to shift. usually, under normal circumstances, it would take years to get doctors to change theirei practice patterns in substantial ways, but we don't have years, we've been clear and strong helping doctors know the range of people
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eligible is broad. not my definition, but the eua or fda, anyone atse increase risk of severe disease, then they actually point to a cdc document, and it a broad range of people, we have to follow eua, relatively permissive about this. we have plenty of supply right now, not trying to prevent americans from getting them, we'rery ing to trying to make sure that everyone is eligible. and we're tracking ordering, making sure if there is any municipality or local district or pharmacy that feels they want more, we will make sure they get more, we make sure that supplies are adequate, we have30 increased over 30,000 sites across the country, we're not done, this is 4 weeks of work, we're adding more test and treat sites.
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it is just about messaging about clarity and making sure people understand who is eligible, and as people get eligibility orer are eligible get prescription, rochelle to you. >> thank you know, what we know about the vaccines, they work well to prevent severe disease if you are up on tate. date, we know many people are eligible for a fourth dose ande or a third. have not yet received them. for those over 50, those are people whope are most at risk of severe disease, we would like them to get the third or fourth dose, to prevent severe disease, for those underage of 50, there are still quite a few people out there who have not gotten the third dose, that third dose is really important againstse omicron.
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with regard to fourth dose for those underage of 50 that require actions from fda, we're in conversations there as well. >> all right. i think kevin? i think we're done with q&a, thank you for joining us. this is my first covid press briefing since i took on this role from jeff.o and i want to do, both, tony and i and rochelle have been outng in media talking, i know tony, iu counted we have done 50 media appearances in last 5 weeks, we want to do more briefings, i commit to continue the briefings on going, when there is major news, otherwise we'll do it to a regular basis to continue to share information thank you for anjoining us, i look forward to see you again next time, thank you.
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