President Biden told an Ohio City Hall hearing Wednesday night that he expected the Food and Drug Administration to give final approval “quickly” for Covid-19 vaccines, as he pressed Americans skeptical of getting vaccinated and stopping another wave of the pandemic.
Mr Biden said he was not interfering with government scientists’ decision, but pointed to a potential upcoming FDA decision to definitively approve the vaccines, which are currently cleared for emergency use. Many medical professionals have been pushing for the final approval, saying it could help increase vaccine uptake.
“I expect the group of scientists that we’ve assembled, more than 20 of them plus others in the field, is that at some point, maybe early in the school year, late August, early September, October, they get final approval “for vaccines at the FDA,” Biden said.
The president also said he expected children under the age of 12, who are currently not eligible to receive the vaccine, to be approved to receive it urgently “soon, I believe.”
The president’s mayoral comments came as the spread of the Delta variant has led to a nationwide increase in coronavirus cases. Over the past week, an average of around 41,300 cases have been reported across the country each day, a 171% increase from two weeks ago. The number of new deaths reported rose 42%, to an average of 249 deaths per day last week.
In some states, such as Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida, new infections have risen sharply, leading to increased hospitalizations as well. Cases are growing faster in states with low vaccination rates.
In Ohio, where Mr Biden visited on Wednesday to talk about what he touted as the well-paying union jobs his infrastructure plan would create, the president found him answering questions from members of the public concerned about the low immunization rates in their communities.
“It’s a simple and basic proposition,” he said. “If you are vaccinated, you are not going to be hospitalized. You are not going to be in an intensive care unit. And you are not going to die.
Mr Biden later overstated the vaccine’s effectiveness, although some vaccinated staff in the West Wing recently tested positive for the coronavirus. “You are not going to get Covid if you have these vaccines,” he said.
In response to a decision by President Nancy Pelosi earlier Wednesday to ban two of former President Donald J. Trump’s most vocal Republican backers in Congress from joining a select committee to investigate the 6 January on Capitol Hill, Mr. Biden was unequivocal about what happened that day.
“I don’t care if you think I’m Satan reincarnated, the point is you can’t watch this TV and say nothing happened on the 6th,” he said. “You can’t listen to people who say it was a peaceful march.”
But speaking in a red state that Mr Trump won in the 2020 election, as he tries to build support for his infrastructure plans, Mr Biden has maintained his criticism of some of the lawmakers elected to power, rather than the Republican voters who brought them there. .
“I trust the American people, I do it, to finally get to the right place,” he said. “Often the Republicans are in the right place. “
Jesus jiménez contributed reports.