White House press secretary Jen Psaki cited an increase in vaccinations against the coronavirus in states with high infection rates as a “positive trend.”
Watch the briefing in the player above.
“People are understanding the urgency and importance of getting vaccinated, and rightfully so,” Psaki told reporters on Monday.
As a possible sign that increasingly dire health warnings are getting through to more Americans, vaccination rates are beginning to creep up again, offering hope that the nation could yet break free of the coronavirus if people who have been reluctant to receive the shot are finally inoculated.
California and New York City announced Monday that they would require all government employees to get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly COVID-19 testing as officials raced to beat back a summer surge driven by the delta variant.
Psaki said there is an “active discussion” going on at the highest levels about what further actions should be taken, including whether those vaccinated should be urged to wear face masks.
Meanwhile, the U.S. will keep existing COVID-19 travel restrictions on international travel in place for now due to concerns about the surging infection rate because of the delta variant.
President Joe Biden earlier this month said that his administration was “in the process” of considering how soon the U.S. could lift the ban on European travel bound for the U.S. after the issue was raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to the White House.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against travel to the United Kingdom this past Monday given a surge in cases there.
Most of continental Europe has relaxed restrictions on Americans who are fully vaccinated, although the United Kingdom still requires quarantines for most visitors arriving from the U.S. Airlines say, however, that the lack of two-way travel is limiting the number of flights they can offer and seats they can sell.
But the rise and prevalence of COVID-19 variants in Europe, especially the delta mutation that is also spreading throughout the U.S., has caused the Biden administration to tread slowly about increasing transatlantic travel.
With the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol set to hold it’s first hearing on Tuesday, Psaki said President Joe Biden continued to support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership.
“His goal is the same goal that Speaker Pelosi has,” Psaki said, “which is to get to the bottom of what happened and prevent it from happening in the future. ”
The panel will hear testimony from police officers who battled the Trump supporters that day at the Capitol. The officers have portrayed the hours-long siege as hardly a gathering of peaceful demonstrators, as some Republicans claim, but rather a violent mob trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election.