CBS News aired another clip of Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Joe Biden as part of the network’s pre-game Super Bowl coverage, and the president was asked if he could address the vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer and tell them the country urgently needed more. production.
“Yes. I think so, because we’ve done it before,” Biden said. “But the idea that it can be done and that we can get collective immunity well before the end of next summer, is very difficult.
Still, Biden acknowledged that the current rate of vaccinations needs to be accelerated. O’Donnell noted that Dr Anthony Fauci said that 75% of Americans would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. But at the current rate of vaccine deployment, the United States will not meet that target for almost a year.
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“Can we wait so long?” O’Donnell said.
“No, we can’t,” Biden said.
Biden criticized the Trump administration for handling the pandemic and planning the vaccine rollout, which he said was “even more disastrous than we thought.”
“We thought they had indicated that there were a lot more vaccines available,” Biden said. “And [that] did not turn out to be the case. This is why we have made progress in every way possible. “
CBS News aired clips of Biden’s session with O’Donnell throughout the weekend, continuing a tradition in which the network with the rights to each year’s Super Bowl gets an interview with the president. The first clips of the interview with Biden ran on CBS Evening News Friday, and other parts were shown on CBS Weekend News and Face the nation. Super Bowl screenings are a great way for networks to showcase their best talent.
Biden also addressed the thorny issue of reopening schools, as O’Donnell noted that around 20 million children have not been to a classroom for almost a year, with a mental health crisis and women dropping out of the labor market.
“Is this a national emergency?” O’Donnell asked Biden.
“It’s a national emergency. It is truly a national emergency, ”he said.
She then asked him if it was time for schools to reopen.
“I think it’s time for schools to reopen safely. Safe, ”Biden said. “You need to have fewer people in the classroom. You must have ventilation systems that have been reworked. Our CDC commissioner is going to come out with a science-based judgment, I think as early as Wednesday to define what the minimum requirements are.
In an excerpt from the interview that aired Saturday, Biden touched on U.S. relations with China, a topic of particular interest to the entertainment community. When Biden and Xi Jinping were each their country’s vice-presidents in 2012, they struck a deal for China to relax restrictions on the distribution of foreign films in the country.
Biden told O’Donnell he probably spent more time with Xi “than any world leader.” But since becoming president, Biden has yet to speak to Xi.
“He’s very bright. He is very hard. He doesn’t – and I don’t mean that’s a criticism, just the reality, he doesn’t have a democratic little D in his body, ”Biden said. “The question is, I always told him, that – we don’t need to have a conflict. But there is going to be extreme competition. And I’m not going to do it like he knows. And that’s because it also sends signals. I’m not going to do it like Trump did. We will focus on the international rules of the road. “