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Biden vows to get ‘more aggressive’ on lifestyle benefits of vaccines

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive to board Marine One in Chesapeake, Va.
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President Biden on Tuesday said his administration would soon offer a more “aggressive effort” to model the freedoms that people have once they are vaccinated, as a way to encourage more people to get shots.

“We’re just getting there now to the degree that I think you’re going to see a more aggressive effort on our part to lay out that once vaccinated, it’s not only you can hug your grandchildren. You can do a lot more,” Biden said.

Biden made the comments during a conversation with six governors on ways to boost vaccinations, and after Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) asked the White House to do more.

“That’s one area where we could use some help from the White House and others, and that is modeling what a fully vaccinated person can do,” Cox said. “I like to state: We have fully vaccinated people; we should start acting like it.”

Some experts have criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden administration for moving too slowly or offering confusing guidance around what vaccinated people can do. For example, guidance at the end of April that vaccinated people can unmask outdoors included an elaborate color-coded chart for various activities.

Biden hinted that guidance on unmasking even indoors could be coming soon, and acknowledged the slow pace so far.

“If anything, we’ve gone a little slower to make sure we’re exactly right in terms of the percent of the population that has been vaccinated,” he said.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients emphasized that guidance would come from the CDC. “Yeah, I think we expect more and more guidance from the CDC for vaccinated people,” he said.

The comments came during a meeting with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D), Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), as well as Cox.

The daily vaccination rate has been falling, as more-eager people have already received the vaccine, and governors discussed ways to make vaccinations easier to encourage more-hesitant people get the shots.

Mills noted that Maine is offering L.L. Bean gift cards to people who get vaccinated, among other incentives.

Governors also pointed to walk-up opportunities and mobile clinics.

“We want to reach people exactly where they are,” DeWine said.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Janet Mills Jeff Zients Joe Biden Michelle Lujan Grisham Mike DeWine Tim Walz Vaccination

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