Even though President Joe Biden declared that the U.S. will have enough supply of vaccines by the summer to inoculate 300 million Americans, he still stresses the importance of wearing masks until 2022.
During a visit to the National Institutes of Health complex, Biden said that he would not take his mask off while standing more than 10 feet away from Dr. Anthony Fauci and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.
"You know that wearing this mask through the next year here can save lives — a significant number of lives," said Biden. "And so I apologize if you don't hear me as clearly as you, maybe you should."
Biden said that January 2021 was the "deadliest month we've had."
"We lost over 100,000 — 100,000 of our fellow citizens. We're on track to cross 500,000 dead Americans this next month," Biden explained, adding, "I know it's a pain in the neck, but it's a patriotic responsibility. We're in the middle of a war with this virus. It's a patriotic responsibility — not only if you care about your family, if you care about your fellow Americans."
However, the U.S. is on pace to exceed Biden's goal of administering 100 million doses in his first 100 days, with more than 26 million shots already delivered in his first three weeks of office.
So far, the government has provided $3 billion to 37 states, territories, and tribes to boost existing vaccination centers and open even more.