While at the National Institutes of Health on Thursday, Biden announced that the U.S. has secured an additional 200 million vaccine doses from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer, increasing the supply by 50 percent and raising the total to 600 million.
According to the Washington Post, the Biden administration is acting on options that remain from existing contracts with both companies helping accelerate the delivery time.
“Just this afternoon, we signed the final contracts for 100 million more Moderna and one hundred million more Pfizer vaccines,” the president said. “We’re also able to move up the delivery dates — with an additional 200 million vaccines — to the end of July, faster than we expected.”
Biden also said the sped-up delivery means the U.S. is “on track to have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July.”
The president said that the previous administration’s incompetence hasn’t helped matters.
“My predecessor — to be very blunt about it — did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans,” Biden said.
Biden sounded a determined tone, saying that today’s announcement is “just the floor” and adding, “Our end goal is beating Covid-19.”
The president then used the opportunity to urge people to remain diligent with health precautions even evoking patriotism as a reason to wear a mask.
Wearing a mask is “still the easiest thing to do to save lives,” Biden said. “We need everyone to mask up. And by the way, I know it’s a pain in the neck. But it’s a patriotic responsibility, we’re in the middle of a war with this virus. It’s a patriotic responsibility.”
“Not only if you care about your family, you care about your fellow Americans,” the president concluded.