Show an ad over header. AMP

Azar: Every American should be able to get a coronavirus vaccine by mid-2021

Every American will be able to get a coronavirus vaccine by the second quarter of 2021, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: As cases, hospitalizations and deaths keep climbing higher, a vaccine seems to be the only chance the U.S. will have to arrest this pandemic.


  • "My expectation is that next year we return to normalcy in our lives thanks to the incredible work of Operation Warp Speed and these vaccines, as well as the therapeutics," Azar told Axios' Mike Allen.

Reality check: A lot will have to go right in order to meet Azar's 2021 timeline, but it's not outside the realm of what experts see as realistic in a best-case scenario.

  • A vaccine hasn't even been authorized yet by the Food and Drug Administration, but assuming that happens soon, distributing it across the U.S. and the world will be an unprecedented logistical undertaking.
  • The two most effective vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, both require two shots — meaning they'd need to produce and distribute roughly 760 million doses, just within the U.S. and within the next six months, for every American to be get vaccinated by the end of the second quarter.

Azar said it's "my hope" that football stadiums will be packed next fall.

  • He also rejected the premise that the Trump administration's coronavirus response has been a debacle.
  • "We've saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives," he said, citing the administration's early actions, which have since largely been lifted as cases soared and deaths have continued to climb.
  • The U.S. death count is now over 280,000.

The interview airs tonight on "Axios on HBO," at 11pm ET/PT on all HBO platforms.

Why we need to know COVID's origins

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.

Keep reading... Show less

Mexican Americans are the US largest Latino group but lack political power for their numbers

Data: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Mexican Americans make up the nation's largest Latino group, yet they remain politically outshined by more recently arrived Cuban Americans.

Why it matters: The disparities in political power between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans reflect the racial, historical, geographical and economic differences within Latino cultures in the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less

A coronavirus vaccine passport to nowhere

Vaccine passports could become available soon to help people resume their livesbut theyface numerous scientific, social and political barriers to being accepted.

The big picture: Reliable and accessible proof of vaccine-induced protection from the novel coronavirus could speed international travel and economic reopening, but obstacles to its wide-scale adoption are so great it may never fully arrive.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening on extending unemployment insurance in the President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating for most of the day, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The deal allows Congress to move forward with voting on amendments to the bill, though it caused a massive delay in the 20-hour debate over the legislation.

Keep reading... Show less

Capitol review panel recommends boosting security with more police, mobile fencing

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Keep reading... Show less

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.

Keep reading... Show less

Chamber of Commerce decides against widespread political ban following Capitol insurrection

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed Friday it won't withhold political donations from lawmakers who simply voted against certifying the presidential election results and instead decide on a case-by-case basis.

Why it matters: The Chamber is the marquee entity representing businesses and their interests in Washington. Its memo, obtained exclusively by Axios, could set the tone for businesses debating how to handle their candidate and PAC spending following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: CDC lets child migrant shelters fill to 100% despite COVID concern

The Centers for Disease Control is allowing shelters handling child migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border to expand to full capacity, abandoning a requirement they stay near 50% to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The fact the country's premier health advisory agency is permitting a change in COVID-19 protocols indicates the scale of the immigration crisis. A draft memo obtained by Axios conceded "facilities should plan for and expect to have COVID-19 cases."

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories