Biden suggests Americans will have to wear face masks through the next year

President Joe Biden said Americans should be wearing masks to protect against coronavirus through the next year, during a speech at the National Institutes of Health Thursday.

Biden was giving an update on coronavirus vaccine supply in the U.S. and mentioned that in order to save a “significant number of lives” masks should be worn “through the next year.”

“You know that wearing this mask through the next year here can save lives, a significant number of lives,” Biden said. “Masking is the easiest thing to do to save lives. We need everyone to mask-up. And by the way, 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.”

Biden also said that the U.S. will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to vaccinate 300 million Americans.

According to the CDC guidelines, after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, it is still necessary to continue to wear a mask and to stay six feet away from others.

The CDC also now recommends wearing two masks to protect against the coronavirus.

“Wear one disposable mask underneath a cloth mask. The second mask should push the edges of the inner mask against your face,” the CDC website reads.

10.5% of the U.S. population has received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far.

In an interview on CBS Sunday before the Super Bowl, Biden said, “The idea that this can be done and we can get to herd immunity much before the end of this summer is very difficult.”

The Biden administration has set a goal of 100 million doses during Biden’s first 100 days as a minimum. Biden said during the interview that he was exploring new ways to speed up vaccinations. Moreover, he is confident that the U.S. could administer up to 1.5 million doses per day.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said at least 75% of the public must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to achieve herd immunity. He has predicted a return to normal some time next fall.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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