(NewsNation Now) — Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden implored Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants in the country.
Frieden said while the vaccine isn’t perfect, it is “stunningly effective.”
“You’ll hear some talk about breakthrough infections. No vaccine is perfect. This vaccine isn’t perfect. But it’s a great vaccine,” he said. “It’s stunningly effective. And it drastically reduces the chance that you’ll get very sick or die or spread the infection to someone else who could get very sick or die. This is my point.”
Frieden led the CDC for nearly eight years and said if he were to hold a news conference today, his first priority would be to address the questions that are still out there.
“We have to listen. There are a lot of people who still are asking questions, we have to address those questions. There are good answers to them all,” he said. “That’s why I, and all my family, are vaccinated. But we want to make sure that people understand that there’s no ulterior motive here. Our goal is to save your life and the lives of people around you. We’re losing far too many people, still close to 300 deaths a day.”
President Joe Biden announced Thursday federal workers will need to “attest” to being vaccinated or wear masks, regardless of COVID-19 community spread where they live.
The unvaccinated employees will also need to comply with weekly or twice weekly testing, and could face travel restrictions. The mandate applies to all federal contractors as well.
Biden is also calling on all state and local governments to offer $100 to people who get vaccinated going forward, and the Treasury is also offering to help states that participate. Some states have offered lotteries for thousands of dollars, but only a handful have tried direct payments to everyone who rolls up their sleeve.
Biden defended what critics on both sides of the aisle have called a confusing update after the president said in May the vaccine was the ticket to shedding masks permanently.
“That was true at the time because I thought there were people that were going to understand that getting vaccinated made a gigantic difference,” Biden said in a back-and-forth with a reporter after his speech. “What happened was a new variant came along, they didn’t get vaccinated, it was spread more rapidly, and more people are getting sick. That’s the difference.”
- Gabby Petito memorial service to be held on Long Island
- ☀ September 26: An Amtrak train derails. And Hurricane Sam is upgraded to Category 4, and it’s getting stronger.
- Tony Awards and TV special hope to be the jab Broadway needs
- Petito case renews call to spotlight missing people of color
- ‘Mr. Baseball’ in the front row at last: Brewers honor announcer Bob Uecker for 50 years behind mic