The Biden administration’s new “COVID-19 Response Team” held its first briefing ever on Tuesday.
“Our case rates remain extraordinarily high and now is the time to remain vigilant,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Walensky warned that 89,000 more Americans could die due to COVID-19 in the next four weeks.
“I know this is not what we all want to hear, but this is something we must say so we are all aware,” she said.
“The White House respects and will follow the science, and that the science will speak independently and that our core values of science, public health and equity are going to drive our actions here at the White House,” said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to White House COVID-19 Response Team.
Officials said the top priority of the administration is to get more vaccines to Americans as quickly as possible.
“Much of our work over the next week is going to make sure we can tighten up the timeline, understand where in the pipeline the vaccine actually is and when exactly it is administered,” Walenksy said.
However, it will be months before everyone who wants a vaccine in the U.S. can get one.
“I want you to know we’re taking this issue on with incredible urgency and purpose,” Slavitt said.