Vice President Kamala Harris receives her 2nd Coronavirus inoculation, January 26, 2021


In their first Coronavirus briefing, the Biden Administration’s officials and experts said the US death toll will surpass 500,000 in February.

They noted the circulation of new, dangerous variants of the virus and emphasized the importance of monitoring. They noted that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” increases funds for genomic sequencing to understand and combat the new strains.

The US death toll reached 429,195 on Wednesday, an increase of 3,979 in 24 hours. Confirmed cases are 25,598,062, a rise of 158,487.

ORIGINAL ENTRY, JAN 27: President Joe Biden promises to speed up Coronavirus vaccine distribution, signing new deals with manufacturers and coordinating with states.

Biden announced on Tuesday that the Administration will work with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna on additional doses so 300 million Americans can have their first inoculations by the end of the summer.

He said supplies to states will increase 16% by the start of next week, and he pledged that state governors will finally get three weeks’ notice on the amount of doses.

Supplies to the states will be increasing by 16 percent beginning next week, according to figures provided by Mr. Biden, who promised that his administration would give governors something they had long asked for: certainty over the supply they would receive. He said states would now have three weeks’ advance notice of how many doses they would get.

The President said he would “launch a full-scale wartime effort to address the supply short shortages we inherited from the previous administration”.

Until now we’ve had to guess how much vaccine to expect for the next week, and that’s what the governors had to do: “How much am I getting next week?”

This is unacceptable. Lives are at stake here.

The US death toll reached 425,216 on Tuesday, with 4,205 fatalities in 24 hours. Confirmed cases are 25,439,575, a rise of 151,616.

Until Tuesday, the Federal Government had only contracted enough doses to cover 200 million of 260 million adults eligible to be vaccinated.

Jeff Zients, the White House Coronavirus coordinator, told governors of the plans on a conference call before Biden’s announcement.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland responded:

Every governor in America faces the same obstacle: The extremely limited supply of vaccines produced and allocated is only a tiny fraction of what our citizens desperately need.

We appreciate the administration stating that it will provide states with slightly higher allocations for the next few weeks, but we are going to need much more supply.