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tv   White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Briefing  CSPAN  August 2, 2021 4:19pm-4:57pm EDT

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states and cities. new rules for the federal workforce in which the policy now for federal workers is get vaccinated or be subject to rigorous testing. i am not saying this because it is often, i am saying it is the defining stretch for the president's tenure. not only do you have the infrastructure thing being debated in the senate and congress. for the first time, there are real questions about biden's leadership on the pandemic. his approval ratings on the presidency has been over 50%. that is because of his handling of the pandemic. i am sure you noticed as well over the weekend, talking to people who might ask you -- >> we take you to today's
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covid-19 referring. -- briefing. dr. fauci: we remain concerned by the drive in cases driven by the delta variant. they are in communities of lower vaccination rates. the seven states with the lowest vaccination rates represent a .5% of the u.s. population -- 8.5% of the u.s. population -- one in three cases nationwide occurred in florida and texas this past week. from the start we have known that this virus is unpredictable. that is why we spent the last six months preparing for every scenario. as a result, we have the tools we need to manage this. the toll that is most important is the highly effective vaccines. we have enough vaccines for every american who wants one.
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they are free, they are easily accessible within five miles of 90% of where americans live. in just six month we have gotten 165 million americans fully vaccinated. including 80% of seniors were the most vulnerable. we have much more work to do to put this pandemic behind us. there are still about 90 million eligible americans who are unvaccinated. we need them to do their part. roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. each and every shot matters. last week, the president laid out several areas we were taking additional steps to get more americans vaccinated. we expanded the tax credit to help small and medium sized been -- benefits to give them -- their employees at themselves time to get their families vaccinated.
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where making it as convenient as possible for students to get vaccinated. in the past two weeks we have seen a 50% increase in the average number of 12-17-year-old getting vaccinated. that is an encouraging uptick. we are also working with states to encourage vaccinations through incentives. which has made a different -- difference. the president called on states and local governments to use fundings they have received to give $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated. minnesota and new mexico already stepped up. if financial incentives like these help us get more shots in arms, we should use them. in addition to incentives, and assigned to impose requirements. based on the realities of different risks, unvaccinated individuals pose versus those
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who have been vaccinated. last week, the department of veteran affairs announced it will require doctors and nurses and other health care workers who provide medical care to our veterans to get vaccinated. this is in lockstep with many health care employers around the country who are requiring vaccinations. it will protect our veterans when they get medical care. at the president's direction the deferment of defense is looking into how and when -- department of defense is looking into how and when they will at the cove in 19 vaccinations into the required vaccinations for the military. the president announced that every federal government employee will be asked to test -- a test to their vaccination -- attest to the vaccination status.
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if they do not, they will mask no matter where they work, get twisted once or twice a week, socially distanced, and it will not be allowed to travel for work. they're taking steps to apply similar standards -- we are taking steps to apply similar standards to federal contractors. get your workers vaccinated. the president has called on all employers around the country to protect their own workforces. we are seeing positive momentum across the private sector. the chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturers, the business roundtable, all applauded the actions we are taking. google, walmart, disney, have announced vaccination requirements for their employees. hospital systems across the country are requiring x nations. -- vaccinations. the strong sense of progress, you see it in the number of
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shots we are getting into people's arms each day. over the past few weeks, we have seen a nearly 70% increase in the average number of new people getting vaccinated each day. in the last seven days alone, 3 million americans have gotten their first shot. that is the highest seven-day total since july 4th. today we hit 70% of adults with at least one shot, also 90% of seniors with at least one shot. these are significant milestones. it is important to note, in the states with the highest case rates, vaccination rates have more than doubled. the 8 states with the highest current k-3's have seen an average increase of 191 percent of people vaccinated. louisiana has seen a 302
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increase -- percent increase. mississippi, one of the percent. arkansas, 206%. this increase in vaccination rates in states that have been lacking is a positive -- lagging is a positive trend. americans are responding with action. that is what it is going to take to get us out of this pandemic. allow me to turn it over to dr. the doctors. cdc dir. walensky: -- this represent an increase of that higher than our peak of last summer. the seven day average of hospital admissions is about 6200 per day, an increase of
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41%. seven day average daily test have increased -- seven day average deaths have increased from the previous 70. . i want to start -- previous seven-day period. i want to start by think we want this pandemic to be done, it is not done with us. our battle must last a little longer. many of us have lost loved ones or been ill ourselves. all of us have given up things in our lives we enjoy. this is hard, it is heavy, but we are in this together. as we learn more about covid, we continue to rely on proven ways to protect ourselves, children, and our love ones. i told you i would give you scientific information as i have it, when i have it. here is what we have learned in the past two weeks about the delta variant.
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the delta variant is highly contagious. if you get sick with the alpha variant, you could infect about two other vaccinated people. if you get sick with the delta variant, we estimate you could infect five other in vaccinated people. more than twice as many as the original strain. infections with the delta variant result in a higher viral load. those who are infected have a larger burden of virus they can spread to others. third, those higher viral loads are not seen just in those who are unvaccinated, but also in in the small proportion of those who are vaccinated and become infected. we published data on outbreak in massachusetts. there were 346 confirmed cases of covid-19 in people who were fully vaccinated.
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during the summer, some towns can have up to 240,000 visitors per month. those with break through infections had viral lows that were similar to people who are unvaccinated. this new finding combined with data across the country was critical in our decision to update our guidance for those who are fully vaccinated. since those data were released, several other studies have been released over the past weekend that have operated these findings -- confirmed these findings. i understand this is frustrating news. i share this frustration. we continue to learn each day from emerging science and use this evidence to update our recommendations. because of what we now know about the delta variant, we
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updated our recommendation, including recommending masks in public indoor settings and areas with high transmission. shown in orange and red on this map. it is also the reason why we continue to recommend universal, indoor masking in k-12 schools around the country. our and safely get back to school and safely stay there -- our children can get back to school and safely stay there. we are working to prevent severe illness and death. vaccines are providing protection both for individuals and communities across the country. as i have said before, this remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated. the vast majority of spread is in this country is among those who are unvaccinated. i want to be clear, vaccinated people can spread the virus if they get a break through infection, the odds of them
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getting sick are far lower than those who are unvaccinated. places with more vaccination generally have less disease. we can see this on a population level on this slide. we compare case accounts and vaccination coverage by state with vaccination coverage on the horizontal axis and case count on the vertical axis. states with the highest vaccination coverage are the the furthest to the right on the graph. states with the highest case counts are the boss closest to the top. -- are the dots closest to the top. further to the left have higher rates of community transition. states that have higher vaccination coverage further to the right, have lower rates of cases. there is a direct correlation with vaccine coverage and case rates. it is worth reiterating that public health prevention
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strategies, including masks, continue to work while you are unvaccinated. if the following out cases -- outbreaks, we saw the power of vaccines and masks. over the month of july, there were a total of 934 cases of covid-19 linked to the outbreak in massachusetts. 33% of the infections in people who are vaccinated, there were only seven hospitalizations and no deaths. vaccines did what they were supposed to do. prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death. as cases increase, local public health officials implemented public health prevention strategies such as increased testing and indoor mask wearing. in two weeks,'tis positivity fell from 15.1% to 4.6%.
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public health prevention strategies work. let me end by reiterating three things you need to know. vaccines are working to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. if you are not vaccinated, please protect yourself and get vaccinated. masks protect you and your family. please wear a mask in public indoor settings goa severe vaccination status. we need -- regardless of your vaccination status. if everyone -- get everyone over the age of 12 in your house vaccinated. we stand here with you, providing science and updated guidance in real-time to keep you and your families safe. thank you. dr. fauci: thank you. i would like to take up on the theme she started with.
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i going to be spending a couple of minutes addressing two issues that are the attention of the country and the world. the real world effectiveness of vaccines in the context of the delta variant. the second, break through, what they mean. let us discuss them a bit. look at the real world effectiveness against the delta variant. if you look at the three components of pcr confirmed infection, it is 79% in the new case study. symptomatic infection is 88%. the vaccines are doing exactly what we are asking them to do when it comes to keeping you out of the hospital, and serious disease, preventing death.
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just a quick comment on the 79%. that may look a bit low, remember, the efficacy of the clinical trials that were published by the trials that gave you something like 94% was against clinically apparent disease. what we are talking about here is just infection. you would expect it to be a bit lower. this has important implications when you get into the discussion of what we call breakthrough infections. if you take these data, look at them across multiple countries, ask the question what does a full component of a pfizer mrna provided in regards to production against alpha versus delta in three separate countries? the data on the left are essentially the data i showed you. alpha is in blue, delta is in
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red. when you get to canada, you see a similar protection against hospitalization. that is the area to the right in that middle panel. comparison thematic disease. when you -- symptomatic disease. when you get to israel, which we now know, you see 64 percent for confirmed and systematic disease. this is likely due to the fact that israel has started their vaccination program before the other countries. you are seeing a little more down the pipe from the beginning. 93% consistently showing protection against advanced disease. if you ask the question, what about the reduced risk of cinematic infection -- symptomatic infection when you
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compare vaccinated individuals with unvaccinated individuals. ? what is the full reduction when you are in red with unvaccinated versus in blue with vaccinated? the disease itself, it is an eightfold reduction. hospitals asian, 25 fold reduction -- hospitalization, 20 5fold reduction. the breakthrough infections, we have no vaccine is 100% effective. you can expect breakthrough infections. even with a high vaccine effectiveness, most of these infections are going to be a systematic -- a onward cinematic -- asymptomatic.
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an important point to bring up, the greater percentage of people who are vaccinated, even with a high degree of protection, the absolute number of breakthrough infections might appear high. that is not the critical number. the critical number is what is the proportion of the people who are getting breakthrough infections. that is the critical one. the bottom line of what we are saying is that -- get vaccinated. i see that every time. we all say it. the covid vaccines give strong protection against the delta variant. it protects you, your family, and your community. >> thank you.
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as you both stated, it has never been more important to get vaccinated. that is how we stop the spread of the delta variant. each and every shot matters. while we work to get more people vaccinated, the federal government is helping states and communities respond to outbreaks. since launching our covid-19 search team, we have been working directly with 10 states to support their efforts to combat rising cases. last week, we reiterated to all governors that we stand ready to help them. whether that be through more testing, increasing treatments, vaccine access and uptake, or other state's specific needs. in missouri, cdc experts are on the ground providing epidemiology, data analysis, and other health support. fema is hoping to expand
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ambulance capacity. hhs are working with the state to address their hospital needs. we are working with states like north carolina on mobile vaccination clinics. the administration is doing extensive outreach in states like wyoming and arizona encourage more physicians to use lifesaving antibody treatments. those are really affect the -- effective. need to employ them or where they are needed. we are doing everything we can to help more americans get vaccinated. to help estates fight the spread in their communities. let us take a few questions. first question. dr. fauci: one of the slides was deleted. a technical faculty. would like to spend 15 seconds i
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feel it is really important. it was mistakenly deleted. when you look at breakthrough infections, they are expected as asymptomatic. we have received reports of break through infections that resulted in hospitalization's or death. among those fully vaccinated million people, that is a percentage of zero -- 0.01% or less the percent of breakthrough cases in multiple locations like d.c. and virginia, the percent ranges from 0.26 20.03 -- to zero point -- 0.03.
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>> first question. >> keep your question to one question. >> thank you. you said it was time to do -- you have requirements in relation to the vaccine. he went on to list what you said last week about the v.a. and dod. are there more requirements coming? should there be were more requirements coming? could you respond to the impression that you are playing down the breakthrough cases? >> i will take the first part of the question. then out-earn to dr. fauci -- then i will turn to dr. fauci. >> we have put forward a strong system that if you are vaccinated, you can come back to work.
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if you are not vaccinated, there are strict rules you need to follow around testing, social distancing, and masking. the department of veteran affairs is an example of a vexing requirement for all of their caregivers. the president has asked the department of defense to look into how they will add covid to the list of mandatory vaccinations for our armed forces. we will be looking across the federal government for those who could require this types of mandates for vaccination. i think it is encouraging that we are seeing the private sector follow. i mentioned walmart, disney, google, all announcing vaccine requirements. there are dozens of other companies doing these types of actions to protect their workers as they come back to work. universities, other health
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systems, you're going to see a continued increase in vaccination requirements as people bring employees back to work. dr. fauci: what was the exact question about breakthrough? >> are we downplaying in some way the number of breakthrough infections that are happening across the country? dr. fauci: no. as i mentioned in the discussion, when you look at the numbers, the total, absolute numbers. when you are dealing with a cohort they were examining, there is a high percentage of people who are vaccinated. by definition, even with a high degree of efficacy, you're going to see absolute numbers that are high.
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the critical issue is what is the relative number, the percent that i mentioned. that is why i apologize, i wanted to interject that slide that was left out. showing you the lower percentage of people who are in that category. >> next question. >> hello. a lot of americans remain confused about the recommendations. they do not understand why vaccinated people need to start wearing masks again. they're confused about what this means for their children in schools. i am wondering if you think that your messaging has been clear enough to the public? what, if anything, are you going to do to address the confusion? maybe simplify things for
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ordinary americans out there who do not follow every nuance of the science? cdc dir. walensky: maybe i will start with the children and say i guidance is -- our guidance is clear. everyone who is in the k-12 school should be masked. adults, children, vaccinated or unvaccinated. everyone should be masked. in terms of guidance for vaccinated people wearing masks, there are two components to what we are trying to do here. there try to save lives with our vaccines. what they were not studied in the clinical trials was preventing transmission. unfortunately, they no longer deal with delta. the vaccines really do work to prevent getting sick. for those people who do get sick, we are suggesting could
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potentially transmit. for that reason, we are suggesting vaccinated and unvaccinated in areas that are right on the map continued to wear masks. dr. fauci: from day one the president said we would meet -- lead with signs and facts. that continues to be the approach. the cdc and other health experts are doing just that. leading with signs and facts. we never said this was going to be easy. the best thing we can do right now is listen to the science and get more people vaccinated. follow the public health recommendations. >> next question. >> hello. i was wondering how much of -- if any surveillance is done to
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track spread? how do people get protection from previous covid infections? that is something many people point to as a reason that they do not have to be vaccinated. whether that offer them any protection. cdc dir. walensky: we have numerous cohort studies that are examining exactly that. we have several cohorts, tens of thousands of people across the country, some of them are doing weekly pcr testing. we can actually examine how much of this disease is occurring in people who may be systematic -- . dr. fauci: if you're dealing with the same variant, if you
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are infected with another variant, and you recover your protected for a reasonable. -- a reasonable period of time. the situation changes when you're dealing with the evolution of a new variant. so jesse delta variant. what we are -- such as the delta variant. what we are seeing now, there are infections. the protection to the original infection somewhat, but reinfection recurs at a greater rate now. when you're dealing with a variant, you don't get the kind of protection you would have hope to have gotten from a previous infection. regarding the issue of vaccinating people, there is no doubt, when you vaccinate someone who has had an original infection and has recovered. not only do you increase the depth of the protection, not
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only do you increase the duration, you also increase the breadth of it so that you cover not only the original, but the variants. that is the reason why the recommendation still holds that even though you have been infected previously, in the context variants, it is a good idea to get vaccinated anyway. >> next question. >> i have a question for dr. walensky. whether the cdc is tracking covid-19 booster shots. would that be authorized by physicians? cdc dir. walensky: we are just starting to gather data and get data. we can discern between people who have gotten second and third shots. we are trying hard to encourage
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people to report on the safety side. if people have taken the initiative to get their third shot, they are not yet recommended. we have the capacity and looking at that data right now. dr. fauci: nothing to add. she did that very well. >> next question. last question. >> thank you. i'm just following up on the additional requirements. your turn to impose a cost on people who are unvaccinated. to get them so they can get the shot. why is the government going further? mandating vaccination requirements for travel across the federal workforce? how far is the administration going to go to turn up the pressure on the unvaccinated to get shots?
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dr. fauci: we have taken significant steps here to make it difficult to come back to work. there are so many reasons to get vaccinated that we have talked about to protect yourself and others. it is a really straightforward way to return to work. for all federal employees, if you are vaccinated, it is straightforward. if you are not vaccinated or not willing to attest to being vaccinated, we are doing the right thing to protect the workforce. to protect the individual, their family, and their colleagues. that is rigorous testing, social distancing, and masking. there are mandates at the v.a. for vaccination, other health care workers. who take care of our veterans. that is consistent with a lot of
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health systems across the country, a growing number of health systems requiring vaccination for their health care workers on the front lines. as i said, the department of defense is looking into how and when they will add covid to the list of mandatory vaccinations for active duty military. we will continue to look across the federal government at other areas where requiring vaccines, everyone being vaccinated may make sense. we are seeing it in the private sector. companies are coming up with systems that are modeled after our system or requiring vaccinations across the board. you're seeing it in health systems. i think this requiring of individuals to be vaccinated in order to come back to work or school is a growing trend. in the lot of sense, given that
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we will get rid of the pandemic by getting more people vaccinated. want to thank everybody for today, we look forward to the next briefing. thank you. >> tonight on the communicators, technology reporters discuss the future of the tech industry. >> when you look at the priorities dominating congress, you see the pandemic take over early in the year. you see infrastructure take over now. there are a lot of big tech topics that have historically attracted interest. they are not front and center. that includes the section 230 debate. data privacy with something that was hugely front and center in the tech space. 2019, 2020 initially. those things are off to the side. people are interested, there is not any consensus proposal out there in either change or -- chamber. >> the future of the tech
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industry, tonight at 8:00 eastern on the communicators on c-span two. ♪ >> david stewart use to practice law in washington dc. he gave that up over 15 years ago to write history. 's first book was all about the constitutional convention in philadelphia, "the summer of 1787." a year later he wrote about the trial of andrew johnson. that he focused on aaron burr, next james madison. now, he looks at george washington. in his words, his mastery of all the tics. -- politics. >> david stewart on this episode of book notes plus. listen on c-span/casts --
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podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. ♪ ♪ >> virginia democratic congresswoman discusses u.s. maritime strategy at the hudson institute. she talked about the growing threat that china poses in the pacific and u.s. navy strategy to combat this. this is just over an hour. >> welcome to the hudson


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