The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, is now holding her daily briefing with reporters.
Psaki was joined by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who addressed the latest jobs report released this morning.
The report showed the US economy added 916,000 jobs last month, but Walsh emphasized he wanted to do a closer analysis of the numbers with his advisers to better understand where the economic recovery is lagging.
Despite the promising news, Walsh emphasized it was still urgent that Congress pass Joe Biden’s $2tn infrastructure plan to create jobs.
Echoing comments from his coronavirus response team, Joe Biden expressed similar concerns about the recent rise in coronavirus cases while delivering a speech on the March jobs report this morning.
The president celebrated the news that 20 million vaccination doses were administered over the past week, but he warned, “Too many Americans are acting as if this fight is over. It is not.”
Biden added, “If the American people continue to do their part, mask up, practice social distancing, we could have a more normal July 4th. But this is still April, not July. We aren’t there yet. And so cases are going up again. The virus is spreading more rapidly in many places.”
The president pleaded with Americans to “buckle down and keep their guard up in this home stretch” by continuing to wear masks and practice social distancing.
A reporter asked Dr Rochelle Walensky whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is formally warning against non-essential travel at this point.
The reporter noted that the CDC director had made several comments during the briefing warning against non-essential travel. However, the agency’s official guidance makes no such distinction between essential and non-essential travel for vaccinated individuals.
Walensky said the new guidance is meant to provide fully vaccinated Americans with information on the relative risk of traveling, which is low. But she reiterated she would not recommend non-essential travel at this point, due to the climbing number of coronavirus cases.
“I would advocate against general travel overall,” Walensky said. “Our guidance speaks to the safety of doing so. If you are vaccinated, it is lower risk.”
The White House coronavirus response team’s briefing has now concluded.
Dr Rochelle Walensky reiterated that she is still not recommending non-essential travel, as coronavirus cases rise in dozens of US states.
“We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated individuals,” the CDC director said at the White House coronavirus response team’s briefing.
Walensky said moments later that there is still much work left to be done to get the virus under control, especially with only about 20% of American adults fully vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized that fully vaccinated Americans should still take precautions while traveling, despite the relatively low risk to themselves.
The agency asked vaccinated Americans to continue wearing masks, socially distancing and regularly washing their hands during their travels.
The White House coronavirus response team is now holding its briefing, and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addressed her agency’s new travel guidance.
Dr Rochelle Walensky summarized the new CDC guidelines, which indicate that Americans do not need to quarantine after domestic or international travel.
However, Walensky emphasized the CDC is “not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases”.
About half of US states have reported increases in new coronavirus cases over the past week, even as public health experts urge Americans to remain vigilant about limiting the spread of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated Americans can also travel internationally, although the guidelines are a bit stricter.
While vaccinated people do not need to quarantine after international travel, the CDC still recommends getting tested for coronavirus three to five days after arriving back in the US.
International travelers do not need to get tested before their trip, unless their destination country requires it.
Fully vaccinated Americans can travel without quarantining, CDC says
Fully vaccinated Americans can now travel without self-quarantining, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today.
Vaccinated people also do not need to take a coronavirus test before traveling, although the CDC has asked those traveling to still wear masks.
The updated guidance comes about a month after the CDC announced its initial guidelines for vaccinated individuals.
At that time, the agency asked vaccinated Americans to continue to avoid travel, due to fears that it could cause a surge in infections.
“Every time there’s a surge in travel, we have a surge of cases in this country,” Dr Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said last month.
“We’re hopeful that our next set of guidance will have more science around what vaccinated people can do, perhaps travel being among them.”
Biden encourages Americans to ‘buckle down’ as coronavirus cases rise
Joe Biden emphasized that there is still a lot of work left to be done to rebuild the US economy after the many setbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The president encouraged Americans to continue working to limit the spread of coronavirus in order to allow states to safely reopen.
“Too many Americans are acting as if this fight is over. It is not,” Biden said. “Don’t give back the progress we’ve all so fought so hard to achieve. We need to finish this job. We need every American to buckle down and keep their guard up in this home stretch.”
The president’s comments come as about half of US states have reported increases in new coronavirus cases over the past week, despite a steady rise in vaccinations.
Speaking at the White House, Joe Biden touted the positive impact that his coronavirus relief package has had on the US economy.
But Biden emphasized that the relief bill brought only temporary change to the economy, while his proposed infrastructure plan would bring longer-lasting reform to allow the US to “build back better”.
The president encouraged lawmakers to negotiate over his proposal in the weeks to come, as congressional Republicans have signaled they will not support the plan.
“Congress should debate my plan,” Biden said. “But Congress should act.”