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White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is ‘turning the corner’

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered
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Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said in an interview on Sunday that the United States is “turning the corner” in its battle against the coronavirus.

“Six weeks ago, Dr. [Anthony] Fauci said that we were at the corner in the pandemic. Since then, the U.S. has vaccinated more than 60 million people. Daily cases fell almost 40 percent in the last month. Has the United States turned the corner?” host Jake Tapper asked Zients on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I would say we are turning the corner. We now have, as of this morning, 58 percent of adult Americans with at least one shot, over 110 million Americans fully vaccinated,” Zients responded.

“The president has set a goal of 70 percent of Americans being vaccinated with at least one shot by July 4. We’re at 58 percent today, so we’ve got a path ahead of us, which will involve getting people even easier access to the vaccine, making sure that people build their confidence, those who have questions about the vaccine, that we answer their questions, and making sure that we do what we’ve done from the beginning, which is do this in a fair and equitable way,” Zients added.

Zients also discussed the temporary pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over reports of rare blood clots.

When asked by Tapper if putting a hold on the inoculations was a mistake, referring to confidence in the vaccine, Zients said the decision was “the right thing.”

“The FDA [Food and Drug Administration] is the gold standard in the world, and the FDA is constantly monitoring for safety, and doing the pause was the right thing that builds confidence, that people know that the FDA and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] are monitoring,” Zients said.

Zients added that research shows overall confidence in the vaccine increased after the pause.

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