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COVID-19: Biden Administration Finds Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials have updated progress in the Joe Biden administration's fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and revealed that almost all metrics that scale the pandemic's intensity in the United States is showing a consistent downward trend, raising hope that the country is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Addressing a White House briefing Wednesday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of CDC, said new cases and hospitalizations now appear to be in a consistent downward trajectory. COVID-19 cases have declined steadily since hitting a peak on January 8. Hospital admissions have continued to decline since they peaked on January 5, decreasing 4.1 percent to an average of approximately 11,400 admissions per day.

"And the recent decline in hospitalizations gives us hope that the number of deaths should start to decrease in the coming weeks," Dr. Walensky told reporters.

All COVID-related tolls are down significantly when compared to their recent peaks, according to COVID Tracking Project. New cases are 45 percent down from their recent peak, while positivity is down 43 percent. Hospitalizations fell by 26 percent, and ICU admissions reduced by 20 percent. Deaths are 9 percent less than the peak figures reported recently.

At the same time, Dr. Walensky cautioned that the continued proliferation of new variants that likely have increased transmissibility threatens to reverse these recent trends. She added that not wearing masks and participating in in-person social gatherings have contributed to the variant spread. Walensky appealed to NFL fans to watch the upcoming Super Bowl Big Game on Sunday "safely, gathering only virtually or with the people you live with."

Providing an update on the latest science, the President's chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci admitted, "We don't have complete, full compliance throughout the country of the fundamental public health measures that are necessary to prevent the spread". He said there's nothing wrong with people wearing two masks. "I often, myself, wear two masks".

The coronavirus death toll in the country crossed another dark milestone of 450,000 on Wednesday. The United States has lost most lives from the pandemic, ahead of countries like Brazil, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom, that have reported more than 100,000 total Covid-19 deaths.

Presenting the vaccination progress report, Jeff Zients, the White House's COVID-19 response coordinator, said the government is on track to meet the President's goal of 100 million shots in 100 days. The seven-day average daily doses administered are now averaging over 1.3 million shots per day for the period from January 27 to February 2. "We now have over 32 million who've received at least one dose."

New community vaccination centers are being built across the country. He announced that two new community vaccination centers will be launched in California in two of the communities most hard hit by this pandemic: one in Oakland Coliseum in East Oakland and the second in California University in Los Angeles.

He urged the Congress to quickly pass the American Rescue Plan to provide the funding needed to continue to scale up the vaccination program, as well as for more testing, genomic sequencing, and emergency supplies.

Zients said that second doses will arrive on the third week of this month for Pfizer, and in the fourth week for Moderna.

"Vaccinating everyone in America is one of the greatest operational challenges we've ever faced, and we will not stop working until this mission is complete".

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