White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters traveling with Biden aboard Air Force One that he will unveil the plan that will span “the public and private sectors to help continue to get the pandemic under control.” She did not elaborate on the details.
When asked about whether any mandates would be implemented, Psaki said the White House would offer more details in the coming days but noted that the federal government lacks the authority to mandate COVID-19 vaccines.
“We need to continue to take more steps to make sure school districts are prepared and make sure communities across the country are prepared,” Psaki added. “So, again, the President will lay out a six-step plan on Thursday. We’ll be finalizing that over the coming days, and we’ll have more preview as we get closer.”
Also in the news conference, Psaki was pressed about the possibility of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, possibly similar to those implemented by private businesses or countries like Israel, France, and Italy. She pointed to private firms mandating that employees get vaccinated “in different capacities” added that “we need to continue to take more steps to make sure school districts are prepared and make sure communities across the country are prepared.”
Biden, who scheduled to meet with his COVID-19 advisors on Wednesday, delivered a speech about six months ago saying the United States has “made real progress” against the virus.
Since that date, about 142 million Americans have received COVID-19 vaccines and about 950,000 people are getting vaccinated each day, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Data provided by the CDC’s COVID-19 tracker suggests that the death rate from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease, may be on the decline or has hit a plateau.
After posting a seven-day average high of 1,162 deaths on Sept. 4, the seven-day average declined to 962, while the seven-day moving average for cases dropped to 127,000. A previous COVID-19 peak period that the United States experienced in mid-January 2021 saw far higher numbers of people die from the virus.
Meanwhile, Biden’s speech may reference a recent announcement from the heads of several federal health agencies that COVID-19 booster shots will be available by Sept. 20. That deadline, however, is contingent on approval by the Food and Drug Administration, which recently saw two of its top vaccine regulation officials announce that they would step down in the coming weeks.
One of the officials, White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci, predicted that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be approved first, then Moderna’s vaccine. It’s not clear if there will be boosters for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which uses different technology than the other two.