March 9, 2021

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President Biden on Tuesday night told a socially distanced CNN town hall audience in Milwaukee that by the end of July, every American who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get one.

The United States will have more than 600 million doses by that time, Biden said, and there will be an increased number of vaccinators. When it comes to reopening schools, Biden said he hopes most K-8 campuses will be open by the end of his first 100 days in office, and the “goal will be five days a week.” He noted it will be harder to open high schools because of the contagion factor, and said he wants to see teachers vaccinated soon. “We should move them up the hierarchy,” he stated.

To help get more people of color vaccinated, Biden said there will be mobile vaccination units deployed and $1 billion will be spent on public education, to help show Americans how to sign up to receive the vaccine. An audience member told Biden her son has pediatric chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and so far is not eligible for the vaccine. She asked when people with ailments like his could get vaccinated, and Biden said while he can make suggestions, “the states make the decisions.” He told her if she stayed after the town hall, he would talk to her more and see if he could help her son.

When asked when things might return to “normal,” Biden cautioned that he doesn’t want to “overpromise anything here,” but is hopeful that by “next Christmas” the country could be under “a very different circumstance.” He urged people to continue to wear masks, wash their hands, and practice social distancing, because taking those steps will help keep people safe. Catherine Garcia

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