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President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 response team plans to hold a press briefing on Friday amid a massive winter storm that has shuttered vaccine distribution sites and delayed deliveries across the U.S.
White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Thursday that the power outages and winter storm across Texas this week pose a “significant” problem for Covid-19 vaccine distribution. The Biden administration has announced a number of steps in recent weeks to ramp up vaccine uptake, like shipping doses directly to retail pharmacies and community health centers.
“We’re just going to have to make up for it as soon as the weather lifts a bit, the ice melts and we can get the trucks out and the people out,” Fauci said during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
FedEx and UPS package hubs in the Midwest were also hit by the storm, causing a delay in vaccine shipments nationwide.
The delay comes as the nation’s top health officials, including Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, urge Americans to tamp down the virus’ spread so the U.S. can administer vaccines before concerning, highly contagious variants exacerbate the pandemic.
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— CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.