The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines

© Provided by CBS News Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a news conference at the White House on Thursday, January 21, 2021.

The pandemic has killed 405,000 people and infected more than 24 million in the United States, the highest numbers anywhere in the world.

Just hours after Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, his administration announced the us will revoke a planned pullout from the World Health Organization in July that had been announced by the Trump administration.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, refuted a claim by the Biden administration that the outgoing Trump administration left no plan for distributing coronavirus vaccines.

"This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health", Tedros said, referring to "my brother Tony" in reference to Fauci, while congratulating Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

"The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know".

"One of the new things in this administration, if you don't know the answer, don't guess. Just say you don't know the answer", Fauci added.

"Thus, far, it does not appear at all that the South African strain is in the United States".

Referring to a WHO-led probe looking for the origins of the coronavirus by a team that is now in China, Fauci said: "The worldwide investigation should be robust and clear, and we look forward to evaluating it". He added that Biden will issue a directive about that move on Thursday.

The administration will expand vaccine manufacturing and its power to purchase more vaccines by "fully leveraging contract authorities, including the Defense Production Act", according to the plan.

COVID-19 has spiraled out of control for months, with the USA death toll having exceeded 400,000.

Biden on Wednesday reversed the withdrawal decision made by his predecessor Donald Trump.

Biden has pledged to provide 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine during his first 100 days in office. His plan aims to increase vaccinations by opening up eligibility for more people such as teachers and grocery clerks.

"It was really something that you didn't feel that you could actually say something, and there wouldn't be any repercussions about it", said Dr Fauci, whom Mr Trump had publicly threatened to sack.

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