tv Michigan Gov. Whitmer Holds COVID-19 Briefing CSPAN April 9, 2021 8:47pm-9:32pm EDT
forward to building that confidence. and new type of diplomacy. thank you. steve: thanks so much, and i jut want to thank julie, juliette, bruce, peggy for your time and dedication to this panel over the last 10 months. it has been terrifically generous. i want to offer special thanks to my colleague catherine for her leadership in directing this project which has proven to be so fruitful and to michaela who has kept us all online so successfully over the months. thank you all for joining us, thanks to our audience members who have tuned in. --
announcer: during the briefing, michigan governor gretchen whitmer warned residents about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state. she also called on high schools and youth sports to mom to momentarily go remote -- to momentarily go remote. this is about 40 minutes. gov. whitmer: good morning. today is friday, april 9. i am very pleased to be here of course with our chief medical executive and the president and ceo of spectrum health in grand rapids. so, good morning. today, we're going to discuss michigan's ongoing vaccination efforts and address the recent rise in cases. michigan has administered over
5.1 million doses of the safe and effective covid-19 vaccines to over 3.1 million michiganders. that is over five million doses in four months to over 30% of our state. -- in less than four months to nearly 30% of our state. and we're speeding up. we went from 4 to 5 million doses in under two weeks. on tuesday, my older daughter and i were proud to add to that number when we got vaccinated at ford field by the medical executive of michigan. i also want to acknowledge the members of the legislature who got vaccinated recently. for leading by example and getting their first shots recently as well. those are legislators from both sides of the aisle and i think it is important for us
to know we are all in this together. almost 175 million of the safe, effective covid vaccines have been administered across america, which is smashing president biden's goal of over 100 million in 100 days. over one in three americans have received their first shot. including 77% of seniors and over 80% of teachers nationally. all michiganders 16 and up are now eligible to get vaccinated. the vaccine is the most effective way to protect you and your family from this virus, and getting vaccinated is the quickest way to return to normal. i urge you to get your shot through a local drive-through pharmacy, mobile clinic, or at one of our community sites, likeford field, or the one at devoss place in grand rapids. there is light at the end of the tunnel. but the recent rise in cases is a reminder that we are still in the tunnel. the only way out is forward
and together. we have all the tools we need. we know what works. we must mask up, socially distance, wash our hands, stay home when we're sick, and most importantly, get vaccinated as soon as possible. our effective vaccine response is a testament to what we can do if we work together. getting vaccinated and staying out of the hospital is a good way to thank our healthcare workers, medical professionals, and hospital staff for their incredible sacrifices and service over the past year. we should also recognize the frontline workers who have gone over and beyond to keep the rest of us going and the scientists and researchers who designed, tested, and manufactured these three vaccines, miracles of modern science. i know michiganders have made extraordinary sacrifices the past year, and i want to get back to normal as much as anyone else.
i am tired of this, but we have more work to do. we could get through this quicker and stronger with a little more help, too. we have administered first doses to 3 million michiganders and repeatedly hit the new target of 100,000 shots a day. which is great progress. but the variants in michigan that we are facing right now won't be contained if we don't ramp up vaccinations as soon as possible. we need additional supply of the one-shot j&j vaccine, which we believe is vital to the strategy of rapidly disturbing vaccines and slowing the rise of the spread. from public health research, we know the one-shot vaccine is critical to protect younger michiganders. or those who may have difficulty getting back for a second shot. we have been speaking with the administration in washington over the last few days and will continue to do so,
because anyone who looks at a covid map knows michigan is a hotspot right now. we have asked for more vaccines. i'm grateful for what they have offered. therapeutics, additional personnel, mobile testing, vaccination units. but i am concerned because i believe as to what number of public out experts that we really should be surging vaccines to states experiencing serious breaks. a bipartisan letter -- a bipartisan letter also echoed our cause for more tests, more supplies, and more boots on the ground to slow the spread and save lives. we have been doing this for a year. we have all learned to surge ppe, tests, and vaccines where there is greatest need. just as we the state of michigan stepped up to prioritize areas of our state, or even assist other states in need and there was a crisis, when there was a need for ppe or ventilators, or
firefighters, or national guard, or masks, we stepped up and helped our fellow states. so i am urging the federal government to create a vaccination surge program to help save michigan now because it is michigan and the midwest today, but tomorrow it could be the northeast or the south or another part of our country. president biden is someone for whom i have a great deal of respect and personal affinity. he is my friend and doing an amazing job responding to the pandemic. a year ago, i took a lot of heat for speaking about the lack of a national strategy. the biden administration has a strategy and by and large is working. -- it is working. as should be expected, though, in an undertaking of this magnitude, there are shortcomings and different points of view. i appreciate president biden's competent leadership and we are grateful for the administration for rapidly increasing vaccination supply nationwide. but we are still in this pandemic and continue to have conversations with public health experts.
recently, i spoke with several doctors. we talk every couple of months to check in. and these talks are part of our regular conversation, so that we can have all the information as we make decisions here in michigan. these experts noted our recent rise in cases a say compliance, variants, and mobility issue. we know enough about covid-19 after a year of living with it, that we know what works and what we have to do to reduce cases. we know that policy changes alone won't reduce the spread so right now i want to speak to every michigander directly. i want to emphasize we still have public health rules in place to save lives. although we have announced reengagements over the last few months, we still have a mask mandate. there are still limits on indoor social gatherings larger than 25 people. we have mandatory testing
requirements for sports. we're making testing easier for spring break travelers with 56 pop-up locations statewide. as part of a special testing program. we are also hosting a webinar for folks tomorrow who want to host a pop-up clinic. but if we take a hard look at the data and observe the spread of the variance, we all need to go above and beyond the rules we already have in place. we have to step up our game the next two weeks to bring down rising cases and that is why i am calling on high schools to voluntarily go remote for two weeks past spring break. calling on youth sports to voluntarily suspend games and practices for two weeks. and strongly encouraging all michiganders to avoid dining indoors and avoid gathering with friends indoors for two weeks. support your local restaurants by eating outside or getting carry-out instead of dining indoors. opt for small outdoor gatherings with masks.
to be very clear, these are not orders, mandates are requirements. we all know what works. this has to be a team effort. we have to do this together. lives depend on it. we have to fight back against the covid-19 variants. we have to get vaccinated to keep you and your family safe. we are going to have tough weeks ahead, so i am asking everyone, please, take this seriously. this is my ask to you, the people of michigan. please, redouble your efforts on these fronts for the next couple of weeks. i know michiganders are concerned about the latest rise in cases and i am, too. we have come so far. we have sacrificed so much. this has changed every aspect of our lives for over a year. we can't let up now, not when we're so close. however you want to think about it, bases loaded, bottom of the 9th, second overtime, shot clock running out, 4th down, 2-yard line with seconds left in the 4th quarter.
we cannot afford to strike out, miss the ball or fumble the ball now. it is everybody against covid and we have to keep going till we win. that is the nature of this virus. the second we let our guard down, it comes roaring back. locally, we can put it behind us once and for all if we get vaccinated. we can't get complacent in the meantime. the best way to bring this down is for everyone to do their part. so even if you have been vaccinated, keep masking up. the numbers show young people are not impervious to this virus. we have seen a lot of cases among young and teen michiganders. every michigander has a personal responsibility to mask up, wash their hands and socially-distance to slow the spread. we have to get this behind us. i know it has been a long and difficult year, but let's take a moment to appreciate how close we are. think back to last spring when our primary concern was getting our hands on ppe.
think about last fall when we had no idea how far away vaccines were and medical experts said we would be lucky to get one in the next few years. that was 50% to 60% effective. think of the optimism we feel today. the number of safe and effective vaccines. over 3.1 million michiganders vaccinated and over 100,000 administered every day. i urge to you get your vaccine as soon as possible because it is the most effective way to to protect you and your family and get back to normal. find a vaccination provider in your area and schedule your appointment online. please go to michigan.gov/covid vaccine to get your shot as soon as possible. the 15 minute post waiting area is one of the most optimistic places in the country right now.
people are making plans to see friends and family with big smiles under their masks. you can see it in their eyes. the sighs of relief, sounds of gratitude, tears of relief, people making happy calls and sending joyful texts and posts. on tuesday, i was happy to join those celebrations. i know we can beat this together. these are all within reach. the path is clear. at this clear, left redouble our a third and get it done. with that i will turn it over to the doctor. >> thank you, governor. so, as the governor mentioned, i'm quite concerned with what we are seeing in our data. we are on track to potentially see a surge in cases even
greater the one we saw in fall. we are now at 515 cases per million people. that is four times where we were in the middle of february. the percent of tests positive is now, it is increased to 18%. that is also four times where we were in the middle of february. we have not seen that high of a positivity rate since our first church last spring, one year ago dust our first surge last spring, when your argo. that is concerning because -- one year ago. this indicates there's broad community spread. hospitalizations are increasing. 15.2% of hospital beds across the state are now being used to take care of patients who have covid-19, and we now know that hospitals are evaluating and permitting their surge plans, including consideration of canceling elective surgeries that are not time sensitive, and preparing to make sure they have the equipment, supplies, and
staff, to take care of covid and non-covid patients. .. ndhhs is also attracting 991 new outbreaks across the state including k-12 schools, any factory and construction, long-term care, childcare, retail, restaurant and bars. between january and march, we saw 291 outbreaks associated with youth sports teams. both contact and noncontact sports. that involved at least 191 people. we have seen 58 new outbreaks in just restaurant and retail settings alone in the past week compared to the previous week. we also know there is general community spread of the virus. this includes the spread of the more easily transmitted variance. -- variants. our lab has identified 2,262 of
these variants in counties across the state, and likely more we do not know about. because we are seeing some to kiss his predicament our public health system is overwhelmed and we are not able to get -- are because we are seeing so many cases per day, our public health system is overwhelmed. we do not a were all the bricks are but what we do know is likely an undercount. this is concerning and we need everyone to do their part. to protect themselves and think about the person who may have an underlying medical condition, or who is older and more likely to die from covid-19. think about the person who may need to have a surgery, or seek emergency care, and the staff or beds may not be available in the hospital. this is serious. we are all connected, and we are in this together. now is a time for us to heed these warnings and do our part. the data is concerning but there
is no need to panic. we know how to do this. i want to be clear, and i have said this before, just because something is open, does not mean it is safe or that you should do it. given that we are were there numbers, and dhhs recommends all high schools positive and personal for two weeks. students and staff should get tested if they have trouble during that time. as the governor mentioned, we have 56 pop-up testing sites with schools, on campuses across the state, offering post spring break testing. we also recommend all youth sports, contact and noncontact, pause practice and competitions for two weeks. everyone should also be up lamenting specific public health mitigation measures, in their personal lives. infectious disease and public health experts across the country have been quite clear that indoor dining is one of the riskier things you can do during the pandemic. with the numbers we are seeing
now, we do not recommend it. you should order takeout or drive-through service, or do outdoor dining. my family orders take multiple times per week. you should avoid gathering with multiple household. if you have a gathering, it's be small and outside and people should wear a mask. it and you should get tested. if you have been exposed or especially if you just returned from a spring break trip, get tested. we have worked with local partners to set up testing sites at state welcome centers in airports, to make sure it is easy for you to check and get tested and make sure you do not bring covid home. you can also and should download the mycovidalert app so you are alerted if you come into con tact with someone who has covid-19. it is free and confidential and more important now, because our public health system is overwhelmed and cannot keep up the pace with new cases coming in everyday. these are very tough things to
do. we do not make these recommendations lightly. but everyone needs to understand, if we can just pause some of these activities temporarily, it will go a long way to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives. these measures work. we also note vaccines, of course, are the most important to we have to prevent the spread of covid. anyone in the state over 16 is not eligible to receive one of these safe -- is now -- anyone in the state over 16 is now eligible to receive one of the safe and effective vaccines. we have data from almost175 million doses -- most 175 ilion doses, put into that -- million doses put into the arms of americans. these vaccines and they work. side effect like a sore arm or mild fever or body ache is to be expected and means the vaccine is working. we have the capacity in the state to do over 100,000 shots
per day. to date we will reach an incredible milestone of 5 million doses in arms. vaccines are the best tools we have to slow infections and return to a greater sense of normalcy. there are also things you can do , after you have been fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks after final dose of your vaccine. you do not have to quarantine if you have been fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms. you can travel around the country, without getting a test. and you can have gatherings with other fully vaccinated people outside your household, without a mask. vaccines not only drive down our cases, but they change the things you are able to do in your everyday life. so, if you have not scheduled your permit yet, please visit our website at michigan.gov/covid vaccine for a link to your local health department and suggestions about other places where vaccines are available. if you do not have reliable internet or need help, you can still call 211, to be connected
to the states covid-19 hotline. until then, we all have the power to protect ourselves, and our love once, i wearing a mask -- our loved ones, by wearing a mask over your nose and mouth when you will be around someone else in your household. keep your distance, avoid gatherings, and get tested. we are all tired of this virus and changing the way we have to do things every day. but please do not give up, we are so close. thank you, and with that i will turn it over to the ceo of spectrum health. >> thank you, dr. jay, and governor whitmer. in health care we like to focus on hope and healing. we have so much hope right now, because we know a better normal is ahead for all of us. today, we are still writing a new milestone, of 5 million
vaccines across michigan. this is clearly a sign of hope for our future. in west michigan like other parts of our state, we have a collaborative working so hard to get vaccines to people as quickly and conveniently as possible. we recently celebrated a day where we gave 12,500 doses in one 12 hour clinic. i am and proud of our team at spectrum health as well as teams at all of the hospitals, physician practices, helped environments, and pharmacies, across our state -- health department, and pharmacies across our state who are involved in disturbing vaccine. and i'm grateful for physicians and nurses and other team members that they after day are caring for people with covid-19, after a very long year. i am also incredibly proud of our communities.
you have stood with us, walked alongside us and he did our-- heeded messages, to make sure you are practicing precautions for covid-19. that we need your help again. at present we are seeing a concerning increase for covid-19 positivity and hospitalizations. this virus is widespread in our communities. at spectrum health, the number of cases, the number of patients in our hospitals, has doubled over the last two weeks. and it continues to climb each day. for spectrum health, our positivity rate is over 16% now, very consistent with the rest of the state. a new b.1.1.7 variant is likely contributing to this search, which was not -- surge, which was not present last fall. it is now the dominant strain nationwide and michigan has the most recorded cases.
it is at least 50%-70 5% more contagious than previous circulating strains. it has the potential -- to spread faster and cause larger outbreaks, particularly among unvaccinated persons, went mask wearing and social distancing is not followed. it also has a higher propensity to be spread by children, in contrast to previous circulating strains. fortunately, all three available and authorized vaccines provide excellent protection against infection by b.1.1.7, which reinforces why getting your vaccine is so essential. so, we need to treat this time, this surge, seriously. i have two important messages for you today. they were reinforced by our nurses and physicians, who i
talked to this week. the first is, prevention. we cannot give up despite. -- we cannot give up this fight. prevention is critical to reduce the spread and protect our community. i realize we are all very tired of this but it is critical we follow the best practices. wear a mask wash your hands often. and keep your distance. -- wear a mask, watch your. hands often, and keep your distance -- wash your hands often, and keep your distance. the second is, getting vaccine. it is our hope for a future. getting a vaccine is an important step to take care of yourself, your family, and our community. in the latest surge, we are seeing the benefits of the vaccine. the people showing up at our hospitals are much younger than in the fall surge. this shows the vaccine is working. there are multiple ways to get
that vaccine, at hospitals, helped a part of, community partners and pharmacies -- multiple ways to get the vaccine and our hospitals, community partners and pharmacies are already to help you. keep that top of mind until everyone has an opportunity to access this vaccine. i realize this is hard. it takes endurance, patient and vigilance, to reach that 70 plus percent herd immunity. as i met with nurses and physicians this morning, the two things they said today was, wear a mask. and get vaccinated. so, on behalf of them, who have worked so hard this year, please take that advice. wear a mask. wash your hands. avoid large gatherings. and get a vaccine. i hope this we are last surge. so please join with us to take these protections to be sure it is the last surge, and that we
have a healthy michigan. thank you. governor whitmer? gov. whitmer: thank you. so, i'm here with dr. j, and tina, and we are happy to take questions. >> why recommend rather than read wire for high school -- why recommend it, rather than require it, for high school sports? gov. whitmer: this pandemic has been hard on everyone of us and we are all tired of this, and the actions we have taken over the course of the pandemic have saved lives. especially in the face of a novel virus which we did not know much about one year ago, especially in the face of a
second surge where we did not have vaccines on the horizon, we know now we have the tools we need, to protect ourselves. and it is less of a policy problem we have and more about compliance, and variance issue, we are confronting, as a state. policy change alone will not change the tide. we need everyone to step up, and to take personal responsibility here. so, i am not taking any actions off the table, but in this moment strongly urging that public schools and youth sports voluntarily. -- voluntarily take action. we are strongly urging restaurants and diners to eat outdoors or get takeout. we know what works. we know what works. and we all need to double down our efforts toward making sure we pushed down the spread of this iris.
-- of this virus. these variants are serious and easy to catch. because we kept our positivity rates low for a long time, now that the variants are here and people are petite, we are more vulnerable because we have large reservoirs of people in our state of people have not caught the virus yet. that is precisely part of the issue we are confronting. that is why it is not about a policy change, it is about behavior change. and we need everyone to be a part of that. >> if this is a compliance problem, why do you think anyone will comply with recommendations now? and in the fall you said your relationship with joe biden would help the state in its fight against covid-19. but now it sounds like the
administration is not surging johnson & johnson vaccines toward michigan, why do you think that is? gov. whitmer: people are tired and think because vaccines are here we can drop our guard. i know that people are traveling and snowbirds are coming back to michigan, and people have been traveling for spring break. all of these things are contributing toward the spread of these variants. and these variants are much more contagious. we have reservoirs of people who have not caught cobit because we have had smart policies on the books. at this point we think it is important people understand how serious this moment is. that is why we went to the numbers and what they are seeing in hospitals. it is incumbent on us to remind people, no one is free from getting this virus, unless you've got that vaccine. so get the vaccine. if you have not yet, make your appointment. for everyone, until we get to 70% of our population
vaccinated, we have to continue to mask up and wash our hands. i am grateful for a lot of the work that the biden administration has done since taking office. we have seen incredible improvement in terms of vaccines, and having the ability to know what is on the horizon and coming. we are continuing our conversations and they are sending a number of things to support us, whether it is therapeutics or the mobile testing and vaccination ability, or boots on the ground. we are going to continue to fight for additional vaccines. that is not a policy they have embraced at this juncture, but we are and i am going to continue to fight for our state, i am always going to do that. i believe that a surge strategy is printed, equitable and important, and that is the case i'm making to the head of the covid-19 response team in the administration.
>> the request to the vaccinations -- to the biden administration is to surge vaccines to hotspots, taking it from places that do not have hotspots, so i'm wondering if you are doing anything inside the state of michigan to surge vaccines to hotspots, if there are parts of the state that have heavier caseload than others? if not, why not? gov. whitmer: we have done some of that but when you look at the map, the entire state is a hotspot. that is why we are making case we should have eight surge strategy as a nation -- we should have surge strategy as a nation. we are allocating based on need within parameters we have, and we are moving quickly. 5 million shots in arms, we are one of the states able to move the fastest and we have met all our benchmarks.
it is an incredible network of providers where working with. i mean, one of the things that has been impressive, but you go to fort field or divorce place or a local public health -- d eboss place, or a local public health center, the work is happening and we are making great progress. we just need more vaccines because we are state that has a lot of variants, and we have a big part of our population that never got covid in the first place because of protocols we have had in place. that is precisely why this is a unique moment. we need some additional assistance here and that is the case we will continue to make, as we are working tirelessly to get one vaccinated. and encouraging people to make their appointments to get vaccinated. >> we understand he spoke last
night with president biden. did you convey the request and could you characterize the nature of his response to you, and his involvement in the planning of governors' and states' response to that surge? and can you confirm michigan has ordered all the doses allocated to it by the federal government? gov. whitmer: yes, i did speak with the president last night and we have spoken with a lot of people on the covid-19 response team and various agencies of the administration. as always, it was a good conversation, and they have offered a number of ways to assist our efforts. and we are very appreciative of that, let me start with that. i made a case for a surge strategy. at this point that is not being deployed but i'm not giving up. i think it's really important we continue to do so, because as i
said in my comments, to date is michigan and the midwest, and tomorrow it could be another section of our country. i really believe that the most important thing we can do, is put our efforts into squelching where the hotspots are. i think it is really, it is about equity. it is about strategy. and i think it is the right thing to do. i have talked to a number of my colleagues, a lot of my fellow governors. there are very worried about what they are seeing in their numbers. michigan often has been on the front end of these surges, and that could be the case here and that is white it is so important we surge -- that is important -- that is why it is so important we surge vaccines into hotspots. i will continue fighting for that. >> [inaudible] gov. whitmer: i'm i having a
hard time hearing you and i did not answer the second part of the last question. i might ask about the ordering of our vaccines, dr.? >> the state of michigan, we do allocate and order all the vaccines accessible to us. we met with the white house team yesterday and walked to our entire ordering strategy and when we ordered what and when. they agreed with us we are ordering all the vaccines that are available to us. gov. whitmer: ok, let's see if we can get you now. >> i know let them play it, michigan, has been pushing to get rid of testing and quarantine. two think now is the time it happened? two think now -- do you think now is the time to trust them with that? and can you confirm and respond
to what we are seeing, that ice sent hundreds of migrant children to be housed in [indiscernible] ? gov. whitmer: i will follow-up on the second part of that question and we will have to do that after the press conference, i will have my team follow up with you on the. winfred -- on that. with regard to sports we know this is a significant factor of spread we are seeing. we know that. it is an ongoing concern of ours. i know there is a very vocal group, that is fighting to ensure kids can play, i get that. i support it in concept. but the fact of the virus is that is where we are seeing a lot of spread. if you look at the national map, you know michigan currently is a place where we have covid, that is a real concern, all across our state, in every community. so, i do not think changing or listening things around
protocols we have put in place to keep kids safe, is a good idea at this juncture. doctor j, anything you want at? ok just to add? ok. >> michigan is in the middle of the pack now, in administering doses from the federal government. i am curious how a surge strategy would fit into that when there is a plan to speed up the administration of the doses delivered? and is there a threshold for case numbers or hospitalization numbers, or any metric, at which you would go to mandates, versus recommending today, or tighter restrictions? as opposed to suggestions for people? gov. whitmer: i am going to ask dr. j, to answer the first part
of your question. >> absolutely and also on our call the white house team yesterday, we went to all of our allocations. we went through how much we may have an inventory. the majority of those doses are actually scheduled, or they are already in arms. if you look at our allocations, if you look on a tuesday or wednesday, for example, that is the day when a lot of providers receive their vaccine. so, yes, it is going to look like it is in inventory, but we are doing quite well with getting those shots in arms, as we have asked all of our providers within seven days. the expectation is not at any given time someone would have zero inventory, because it is more complex than that. but we are absolutely surging vaccines to laces like the ball center or they can get up to 30,000 doses in arms. we are making sure we are giving vaccines to those who can move quickly. we also have to be mindful we have to address high sdi areas where you can work with that neighborhood center or church
for example, or made you cannot do as many vaccines, but we are absolutely getting shots in arms as quickly as we can. we are meeting with hospital providers and local health departments, and emphasizing speed and doing quite well in the state. gov. whitmer: and back to the last part of your question, about, are there things we are seeing that might inform a decision, to make additional changes in our articles? -- are protocols? i have said this many times over the last year, we will obviously work with our help systems, like spectrum, to make sure we know what is happening with regard to hospitalizations. we know right now we are seeing hospitalizations up. it is a younger group of people. the mortality rates are lower. not minimizing the seriousness of this, but that is part of the contextual peace that goes into this -- piece goes into where we
are and the protocols and why we have to put the foot on the gas to get the state vaccinated. and implore people in the interim to do their part by masking up. as always, those are the metrics. the positivity rate, hospitalizations, mortality rates and context. vaccine dissemination is a big part of that context. where at 5 million shots now, which is incredible. we are moving swiftly. depending on which metric you look at and that is why we do not look at national rankings because they change every day, that we are in the top states in terms of getting vaccinations in arms, especially for bigger states, like michigan. so we have to keep doing that. >> it seems policy is not going to get us out of this and you say vaccines at the current pace what is the current timeline where we are going to see vaccines take a chunk out of
rising cases, and getting closer to the 70% mark that the state wants to hit? gov. whitmer: i think in an upcoming press meeting we will bring in a lot of people who have really been helping us with our logistics and numbers. and we are really grateful for the help from doubt, in particular, has been a partner in this -- dow, in particular, who has been a partner in this. we anticipate if vaccines come as we currently expect them to, meaning there is no glitches. and this week we saw there was a glitch with j and j, and we are getting fewer j and j than expected. there was a snowstorm a few weeks ago that was a setback. assuming there are no setbacks, and everything goes as we are led to believe, it will go, and we do not have lulls, in terms of demand, another big, if. we could they are radically by the middle of may be at 70% -- we could theoretically be at 70%
by the middle of may. there is a probability something will be a glitch. or we will have to do more work to earn the confidence of the public, to get more people interested in getting vaccinated. but at this happen, well in advance of, or at least by the fourth of july, we could hit the 70% number. that would be incredibly helpful for all of us in the state and for our economy if we were able to hit that number. that's why we are encouraging people to make your vaccination appointment. help your loved ones struggling to get an appointment, or the neighbor that has not gotten a vaccine. i spoke with a man yesterday who the health system near him called and said "we've got some appointments." he already obtained one through meyer, so he went and asked his neighbor, and he went to get it. that is the kind of thing that can help us to get to the goal i
know we all share. you may not see i to i tie on every issue in this moment but i do believe we want that normalcy, and that's how we will get it. thank you, have a great day. >> c-span shop.org is c-span's new online store. go there today to order a copy of the congressional directory, a compact spiral-bound book with contact information for every member of congress, including bios and committee assignments, and contact information for state governors and the biden administration cabinet. order your copy at c-spanshop.org. >> the white house covid-19 response team says nationwide vaccination efforts are increasing daily. during a briefing, they updated the infection numbers and challenges they face in outreach