In the lead-up to President Joe Biden's anticipated speech on how to tackle the COVID crisis amid the new Delta variant of the coronavirus, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki laid out the administration's six point plan.
"Tomorrow you'll address how you'll get the pandemic under control," Psaki was asked at a press briefing Wednesday. "So are we shifting to a point at which this pandemic can no longer be defeated and we need to sort of live with it and figure out how to get it under control? Is that where the White House is now?"
"So the president right now is meeting with members of his COVID team to talk about a range of steps, including his plan he'll announce tomorrow, six steps to stop the spread of delta and increase vaccinations," Psaki said.
"We want to be specific about what we're trying to accomplish in this moment. And what these six steps will do," Psaki said before getting to the meat of the plan. "We know that increasing vaccinations will stop the spread of the pandemic, we'll get the pandemic under control, we'll return people to normal life. That's what our objective is. So we want to be specific about what we're trying to achieve."
Psaki said that the "what you're going to hear from the President tomorrow is going to build on some of the steps that the President announced over the course of last few months. We've been at war with with the virus for a long time, several months, more than a year, year and a half."
"We have been working, we've been at war with the Delta variant over the course of the last couple of months," she went on to say, listing off what the administration sees as their successes in pandemic abatement.
The successes touted by the White House include:
- New government vaccine mandates on DOD, military forces, NIH, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Incentivized additional mandates, in home and health care facilities, nursing homes, and others.
- Incentivized private sector, set private sector mandates.
- Deployed over 700 surge response teams across the country.
- Worked closely, again with the private sector to institute more requirements on vaccinations.
Psaki said that the US has "seen some impact from those steps. Tens of millions of Americans are now covered by vaccination requirements. 14 million Americans got their first shot in August, which was an increase from what we'd seen in the months prior, 4 million more than in July and the increase in vaccinations and has been a consistent trend."
"He's going to outline the next phase in the fight against the virus and what that looks like including measures to work with the public and private sector building on the steps that we've already announced, the steps we've taken over the last few months, requiring more vaccinations, boosting important testing measures and more, making it safer for kids to go to school. All at a time when the American people are listening," she said.
"Again, this will be six steps that will work to be implementing over the months ahead," Psaki concluded.