WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response team focused on the federal government’s effort to get vaccines out.
“We must continue to take every action we can to protect our loved ones and our communities,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
White House Coronavirus Czar Jeffrey Zeints says the administration is on track to reach 100 million vaccines in 100 days, but they need to tap into more vulnerable communities.
“We’re putting equity front and center, partnering with states to increase vaccinations in the hardest-hit and hardest to reach communities,” Zeints said.
One way they are addressing this issue is by introducing a COVID-19 health equity task force, led by Dr. Marcella Nunez Smith, to help allocate funds and improve outreach to these communities.
“As the pandemic has progressed over the past year, so too have the inequities, and over the past few months, we’ve seen new disparities emerge,” Dr. Smith said.
The White House says with the increased rollout and vaccination sites, the administration could reach its other goal of bringing students back into the classroom.
“Our objective, the president’s objective, is for all schools to reopen, to stay open, to be open five days a week, for kids to be learning, that our focus is on,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
But Republicans, like U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), say the Biden administration needs to put a bigger emphasis on helping schools and teachers.
“We need to get our schools open now. It’s going to be good for our kids, it’s going to be good for America, and to the extent we don’t get this done, we’re setting an entire generation behind,” Hagerty said.