President Biden on Monday laid down a marker on Monday, estimating that COVID-19 vaccines will be widely available to the public in the spring. He added that he believed the country will be headed toward herd immunity by summer.
“I think we’ll be able to do that this spring, but it will be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we have ever tried in this country, but I think we can do that,” Biden told reporters at an event focused on American manufacturing. “I feel confident that by summer we’re going to be well on our way to heading toward herd immunity, and increasing the access for people who aren’t on the first on the list going all the way down to children and how we deal with that.”
After expressing confidence in his projections, Biden was pressed on his remarks last week, when he warned “there’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”
The President maintained that he stands by his previous remarks from two months ago, saying that he will “shut down the virus” while reiterating his warnings that the situation is likely to worsen before it improves.
“I am going to shut down the virus, but I never said I would do it in two months,” Biden said, responding to a question from Fox News. “I said it took a long time to get here, it’s going to take a long time to beat it. We have millions of people out there who have the virus.”
Biden stressed again that “it’s going to take a heck of a lot of time” to contain COVID-19.
“So it’s beginning to move, but I’m confident we will beat this,” Biden said. “We will beat this, but we’re still going to be talking about this in the summer. We’re still going to be dealing with this issue in the early fall.”
Biden ended his remarks by urging the public to continue mask-wearing practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19, citing experts saying that 50,000 lives can be saved between now and April if the public adheres to the mitigation strategy.
Watch Biden’s remarks below: