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10 Things in Politics: More shots are on the way
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Here’s what you need to know:
Biden warns that the pandemic isn’t over, but soon most adults will have access to vaccines
Gun safety groups are frustrated with Biden prioritizing infrastructure
Emotional arguments from the first day of Derek Chauvin’s trial
1. SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS FOR (ALMOST) EVERYBODY: President Joe Biden pledged that 90% of US adults will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine within five miles of their home by April 19. Biden urged governors and local officials to pause reopening efforts, declaring that “the war” against the pandemic isn’t over. “Now is not the time to celebrate,” he said.
Here’s when your state will start vaccinating all adults:
America’s potential dual track: The US continues to set new vaccination records. But Biden echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky who expressed fear of the 4th surge in cases. Walensky told reporters she feels an “impending doom” looking at current numbers. Biden is also urging local leaders to reimpose mask mandates.
Internal CDC data illustrates a concerning picture: “The number of new cases jumped by 11 percent over the past week to a seven-day average of about 60,000 cases, according to an interagency memo dated March 29,” Politico reports. “Nationally, the number of new Covid-19 hospital admissions and currently hospitalized patients both increased by 4 percent.” In a sign of how quickly things can turn, on March 11 another memo documented decreases across the board.
A shot may also become your ticket, literally: The White House is reportedly exploring a vaccine passport program that would allow people to prove they’ve been vaccinated before entering venues. The plan would be for the proof to reside on a smartphone app with printed proof available as well. New York already launched its pass, which will be used by Madison Square Garden.
Final thought: The data continues to show vaccines are incredibly effective. The CDC released real-world evidence of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showing they are 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections, even asymptomatic cases.
2. Gun safety groups are frustrated with Biden: His decision to prioritize infrastructure over gun control has frustrated advocates, though some remain optimistic that Biden will eventually take action on his own and potentially push for more violence-prevention funding. More on how their patience is running out in our exclusive report.
Key quote: “We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can move forward with an infrastructure bill…and spend time talking about this issue as the public health crisis it is,” Kris Brown, president of the Brady gun violence prevention group, told Insider.