Biden to mark year of widespread COVID-19 shutdowns in prime-time address

President Biden's first 100 days

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden will deliver a prime-time address Thursday to mark one year of widespread shutdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki Monday announced that the president will deliver remarks later this week, focusing on the many sacrifices Americans have made during the pandemic.

Psaki said Biden will also speak about the losses many have suffered, as well as efforts to combat the virus and resume normal life.

In recent weeks, several states and cities have begun lifting COVID-19 restrictions against the advice of public health experts who say the measures should remain in place until more Americans are vaccinated.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidance, saying fully vaccinated Americans can meet in small groups with other vaccinated people without wearing masks or social distancing.

But CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that fully vaccinated individuals should keep wearing masks when outside their homes.

The new guidance does say that those who’ve completed their vaccination can visit with unvaccinated, low-risk people from one other household without masks. But the CDC says they should still continue taking precautions, such as avoiding medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings and wearing masks when visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households.

“It’s important to realize … that still over 90% of the population is not yet vaccinated, and that is our responsibility to make sure, in the context of 60,000 new cases a day, that we protect those who remain unvaccinated and vulnerable,” Walensky said.

About 30 million people, or 9.2% of the U.S. population, have been fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc/ BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, according to CDC data.

Nearly 18% of the U.S. population, or 58.9 million adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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