Live stream: Biden gives COVID update as vaccine goal looms, demand wanes

Watch live at 2:15 p.m. Friday

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Patrick Semansky, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

President Joe Biden is holding a news conference Friday to provide an update on the nation’s coronavirus pandemic and vaccination progress as much of the U.S. reopens.

Watch live at 2:15 p.m. in the video player below.

Much of the United States is returning to normalcy with many Americans are reportedly resuming pre-pandemic activities as COVID-19 infections drop and vaccinations against the virus rise.

As of Friday, June 18, 65% of the American population 18 years old or older have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Biden previously announced a goal to have 70% of Americans at least partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July -- though some say that goal may be difficult to achieve.

More: US increasingly unlikely to meet Biden’s July 4 vax goal

Vaccinations across the U.S. have slowed in recent weeks. Some states have been offering incentives -- like millions of dollars, free college tuition and more -- in an effort to encourage their residents to get the shot.

Incentives have been effective in some regions, but the country’s vaccine surplus continues to grow.

For example, demand for COVID vaccines in Tennessee and North Carolina have slowed so much that the states gave millions of doses back to the federal government, despite the fact that less than half of their populations are vaccinated.

And some vaccines are getting ready to expire, with summer expiration dates looming over several states. Across the U.S., millions of Johnson & Johnson vaccines were set to expire this month, but the government extended their expiration dates by six weeks. Even then, some leaders say it will be hard to use those doses up completely before that date.

In response to the surplus, the Biden administration has decided to donate 80 million vaccines across the globe by the end of June, in addition to purchasing another 500 million doses to donate to lower-income countries over the next year.

More: US vaccine surplus grows by the day as expiration dates loom

Though he says vaccines are still the primary focus when it comes to combating viruses, top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci announced this week the country’s investment of $3.2 billion into the development of antiviral pills to treat COVID and other dangerous viruses.

Fauci says the investment will accelerate processes already in progress, working toward developing treatments for viruses that have “pandemic potential,” like Ebola, West Nile and dengue.

Read: US to spend $3.2B on treatments for COVID-19, other viruses


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