2 hr 21 min agoWhite House says a national vaccine requirement “not under consideration at this time”From CNN’s DJ Judd
(Andrew Harnik/AP)The White House is not considering a national vaccine requirement at this time, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at Friday’s press briefing.
Jean-Pierre declined to say whether President Biden has asked the Department of Justice if a federal vaccine mandate was possible, telling reporters Friday, “I don’t have any more to add to that,” but pointed to the President’s remarks Thursday during remarks from the East Room.
“I had asked the Justice Department to determine whether that is, they’re able to [pass vaccine mandates] legally,” Biden said Thursday, “and they can, local communities can do that, local businesses can do that. It’s still a question whether the federal government can mandate the whole country. I don’t know that yet.”2 hr 41 min agoMore than 80% of Americans live in counties impacted by latest CDC mask guidanceFrom CNN’s Deidre McPhillips
More than 80% of the US population — about 274 million people — live in a county considered to have “high” or “substantial” Covid-19 transmission, according to a CNN analysis of data published Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This includes more than half of the US population — nearly 55% — who live in areas with “high” transmission, and another 28% live in counties with “substantial” transmission.
That’s about 25 million additional people since Thursday who live in a county where, according to the latest CDC guidance, even fully vaccinated people should mask up indoors.
Less than 1% of the population — fewer than 2 million people — live in areas with “low” transmission.
The CDC considers a county to have “high” transmission if there have been 100 or more cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in the past week, or a test positivity rate of 10% or higher during the same time frame. For “low” transmission, those numbers must be fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 or a test positivity rate under 5%.
2 hr 46 min agoWhite House defends communication efforts around new Covid-19 mask guidanceFrom CNN’s DJ Judd
White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (Andrew Harnik/AP)White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the administration’s communication efforts after it updated Covid-19 guidance following rising cases and the dominance of the Delta variant, telling reporters at Friday’s briefing that while they haven’t held a Covid-19 briefing this week or had any health officials join the White House briefings, “I would argue that we had the President of the United States speak to this yesterday, he gave a more than 30 minute speech about where we are as a country.”
“We heard from the President yesterday, we heard from the President about the Delta variant and vaccinations in general the day before yesterday when he was in Pennsylvania where he was supposed to talk about ‘Buy American,’ which he did, but he led off talking about the vaccinations, we have had our doctors on your networks on many of the networks that are here talking probably all of them, talking about the Delta variant, all throughout these last couple of days, so they have been out there, they’ve been talking about it,” Jean-Pierre said.“The doctors have been on national television all week, speaking to this, answering the questions on your networks, so they’ve been out there talking about, they’re not hiding,” she added.
Jean-Pierre also told reporters, “our message has always been clear throughout — we need more people to get vaccinated to stop the spread of this variant, and so, we have to continue to make that effort.”
Jean-Pierre also pointed to data released by the CDC today in their weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that led to new mask guidance, telling reporters Friday, “The CDC’s first and foremost priority is getting the American people information as quickly as possible, and so, that’s what they did on Tuesday, they got it as quickly as they can.”
“They’re going to be releasing this data today, as you know, and it was clear that the vaccine — it was clear that vaccinated people have the ability to transmit, and action needed to be taken quickly, and that’s why they did it.”
3 hr agoFDA expands authorization for Regeneron’s antibody treatment From CNN’s Jen Christensen
The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the use of Regeneron’s antibody therapy so it could be used as a preventative treatment for certain people who have been exposed to Covid-19, the company said on Friday.
The FDA’s expanded authorization will allow the antibody treatment to be used in people who are not fully vaccinated or are not expected to mount an adequate immune response after they have been exposed to someone who is infectious or for those who are at high risk of exposure to someone with Covid-19 in an institutional setting.
It is not authorized as a substitute for vaccination, the FDA said.
Regeneron’s late-stage trial data showed an 81% reduced risk of symptomatic infections in people who came into close contact with someone with Covid-19.
Regeneron’s antibody therapy is the only one that is currently authorized to be used both to treat and prevent Covid-19 infections. It was the treatment given to former President Trump when he became infected last year, as well as several other high-profile politicians.
The initial authorization allowed doctors to use the treatment for any patient who is 12 years old or older who tests positive for Covid-19 and is at high risk for severe disease, but is not yet hospitalized.
In May, the US stopped the distribution of Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment since it didn’t seem to be as effective against virus variants.
3 hr 2 min agoSome areas of Texas are running short of ICU bedsFrom CNN’s Jennifer Henderson
At least one Trauma Service Area (TSA) in Texas had zero intensive care unit beds available on Wednesday, according to the most recent data available on the Texas Department of State Health Services Covid-19 Tests and Hospitals dashboard.
Area N, located around Bryan, Texas which is north of Houston and east of Austin, showed no available ICU beds and 49 available hospital beds on the dashboard.
The dashboard shows Area T, which includes Laredo, had one ICU bed and five available hospital beds left.
At least seven other TSAs had less than ten ICU beds left, the dashboard reports. Those include areas arou
White House says a national vaccine requirement ‘not under consideration at this time’
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