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Biden announces that we will have enough vaccines for every adult in the U.S. by end of May
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It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.



Part of what led to this announcement is a historic partnership between two pharmaceutical companies. News broke today that Merck & Co will be helping to manufacture more doses of its competitor Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. Merck had tried to create its own COVID-19 vaccine early in the pandemic, but was unsuccessful. It's unusual to see a company partner up with a fierce rival, but sometimes the good of the nation comes first.

"This is a type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War II," Biden said of the partnership.

With the help of the Defense Production Act, which Biden has invoked, Merck will be able to dedicate two of its facilities to manufacturing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It will take some time to get fully ramped up, but the hope is that the two companies will be able to manufacture double the number of vaccines that Johnson & Johnson could create alone.

Johnson & Johnson has had a slower start than anticipated in getting production ramped up; of the 37 million doses promised by the end of March, the company says it will only be able to provide 20 million. However, Pfizer and Moderna are both dramatically ramping up their mRNA vaccine production—a development that also contributed to today's end of May news.

According to the Associate Press, the president told governors to be prepared for a vaccine supply increase over the coming weeks. Additional doses will also be going to retail pharmacies for a federally backed program that will help get vaccines to more teachers, which will enable schools to open more safely. The White House announced a goal of getting every teacher at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of March.

The key now will be increasing distribution capacity to get more shots in more arms more quickly, a feat that lies largely in the hands of individual states. This news couldn't come at a better time. In states like Texas, where the governor announced today that he will be lifting the state mask mandate and opening up all businesses at 100% next week despite being one of the worst-hit states in the nation at the moment, a two-month difference in getting people vaccinated could save thousands of lives.

Good news all around. Go science go.

Here are Biden's full remarks from today:

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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