President Biden on Monday unveiled new actions to get more people vaccinated quickly.
He also called everyone to adhere to pandemic safety guidelines.
“I call on every governor, mayor, and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate,” the president said. “Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.”
When asked if some states should pause reopening, Biden said “yes.”
“The failure to take this virus seriously is precisely what got us into this mess in the first place,” Biden demanded.
The president, who enjoys a more than 72 percent approval rating for his handling of the pandemic, said that by April 19, 90 percent of adults in the U.S. will be eligible for vaccination and 90 percent will have a vaccination site within five miles of where they live.
The Administration also is increasing the number of pharmacies in the federal pharmacy vaccination program from 17,000 to nearly 40,000 across the country and will stand up a dozen more mass vaccination sites by April 19.
In total, 33 million vaccine shots are expected available by next week.
Biden also announced a new effort to fund community organizations to provide transportation and assistance for the nation’s most at-risk seniors and people with disabilities to access vaccines.
The announcement builds on last week’s historic $10 billion investment to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines in the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities.
Biden has called for all states, tribes, and territories to make all U.S. adults eligible for vaccination no later than May 1.
He said he is working closely with state and local leaders to make this happen as quickly as possible.
To date, 31 states have said they will open eligibility to all adults by April 19.
The president reminded Americans about the importance of taking preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, as variants continue to spread, and cases are on the rise.
He called for continued masking and social distancing as work to get more people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Monday’s announcement included expanding vaccines to 20,000 more local pharmacies, bringing the total to nearly 40,000 across the country by April 19.
The president also said he has launched a new effort to get the nation’s most vulnerable, and at-risk seniors, and people with disabilities vaccinated.
He said tremendous progress was made on vaccinating seniors, with over 70 percent of people over 65 years old receiving at least one shot, and the administration’s new program will help vaccinate our most vulnerable and at-risk seniors and people with disabilities who have yet to be vaccinated, including those who need assistance leaving their home or are socially isolated.
“Mask up. It’s a patriotic duty,” Biden declared. “It’s the only way we ever get back to normal.”