White House officials won't say if US will meet July vaccine goal

White House officials won't say if US will meet July vaccine goal
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White House officials won't say whether they believe the U.S. will meet President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE's goal of getting 70 percent of adults partially vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4.

But even if that goal is not met, administration officials insist it won't negatively impact the country's overall recovery.

When asked directly about the goal during a press briefing Thursday, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsFirst US omicron case detected in California Obama visits vaccination site in DC US braces for omicron to hit MORE did not directly answer.

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“We've made tremendous progress. Today more than 175 million Americans have gotten at least one shot ...  hundreds of thousands of people are continuing to get their first shot each day, and we are going to get to 70 percent, and we're going to continue across the summer months to push beyond 70 percent," Zients said. 

More than 167 million American adults — 64.7 percent — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of vaccinations has fallen off significantly, dropping from a peak of nearly 2.5 million people a day in mid-April to fewer than 400,000.

On Sunday, Biden press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Biden's winter COVID-19 strategy Biden lays out multi-pronged plan to deal with evolving pandemic White House defends travel ban on African countries MORE acknowledged that many states have not yet met the 70 percent goal, but contended there is still time, as the White House has focused its efforts into a "month of action" campaign to make vaccination as easy as possible for as many people as possible. 

"Look, at the end of the day, it is — at this point, what the government can do is we can provide the resources, we can incentivize, we can provide the funding, the vaccine supply, and work with states and localities to do everything we can — and in the private sector — to incentivize people to get shots in their arms.  It is ultimately up to individuals to do that," Psaki said. 

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"What you've seen is that a number of states have met and surpassed that goal, right? Many have not yet. But we've started — kicked off this one-month campaign to do everything we can to reach it. And we'll see where we get. We've got some time," she added.

But the state-to-state variation is stark. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, for example, have not yet reached even 50 percent of adults. 

Meanwhile all of New England, New York, Washington state, California and most of the mid-Atlantic have reached 70 percent coverage among adults.

But as cases across the country continue to decline and states lift any remaining restrictions, experts think convincing the remaining holdouts will be especially challenging. 

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci to appear on Fox Business Friday for rare interview on the network Hawaii reports its first omicron case Glenn Greenwald discusses criticism of Fauci overseeing 'medically unjustifiable' experiments on dogs MORE, the nation's top infectious diseases doctor, said Thursday the vaccination effort will continue regardless.

"Opening up is not synonymous with stopping the push to vaccinate people," Fauci said.

"So I think people should not misinterpret that because the city or a state is opening up that they're done. No, they're not. We're going to continue to push vaccination, beyond the Fourth of July, into the summer — so get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can, whether you're open as a state or a city or not. That's the goal."