Via Teleconference 

11:03 A.M. EDT

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Good morning.  Today, Dr. Walensky will provide an update on the state of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci will provide an update on the latest science, and Dr. Murthy will provide an update on our efforts to build vaccine confidence. 

Here’s how I want to start though: I want to discuss what some businesses who cater to young people are doing to assist with the vaccination efforts.

Scores of businesses and organizations have responded to the President’s call to action to volunteer their services and help the American people to get vaccinated. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting a number of outside initiatives to provide incentives for people to get vaccinated.  We believe that it’s particularly important to reach young people where they are in the effort to get them vaccinated. 

We do know that in addition to schooling, financial loss, stress levels, the pandemic has also had a negative impact on young people’s social lives. 

Social distancing and dating were always a bit of a challenging combination.  So today, dating sites like Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, BLK, Chispa, Plenty of Fish, and Badoo are announcing a series of features to encourage vaccinations and help people with that univer- — help people meet people who have that universally attractive quality: They’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

These sites cater to over 50 million people in the U.S. and are some of the world’s biggest nongaming apps.

Here’s one for you: According to one of the sites, OKCupid, the people who display their vaccination status are 14 percent more likely to get a match.  We have finally found the one thing that makes us all more attractive: a vaccination.

These dating apps will now allow vaccinated people to display badges which show their vaccination status, filter specifically to see only people who are vaccinated, and offer premium content — details of which I cannot get into, but apparently, they include things like boosts and super swipes.  The apps will also help people locate places to get vaccinated.

Alright, got through that. 

Today also happens to be our “Digital Day of Action.”  The White House and others, including Michelle Obama, will be highlighting the website and 438829 text line throughout the day.

Now it’s been four months since President Biden’s first full day of office.  Things are substantially better than they were four months ago when we were losing thousands of Americans each day and people were waiting weeks or more to get vaccinated, usually not even knowing where or when it would happen.

Today, more than 125 million Americans are fully vaccinated.  Those Americans who have been vaccinated are at much lower risk and have more of their lives back.  They’re able to do most things mask free and with less reason to socially distance.  Tens of millions more, adding up to more than 60 percent of the adult population, are at least partially vaccinated. 

The impact has been everything we could have hoped for, given the power of vaccines.  Across the country, cases of COVID-19, serious illness, and loss of life are all down dramatically from when we arrived.  And they can be brought down even further, and the risk of a future wave in your community significantly reduced, if we keep up the pace of vaccinations.

Many Americans have still not gotten vaccinated — most of them younger, many of them not opposed to vaccination; they simply haven’t prioritized it.  It has never been easier. 

Starting Monday, when you text to 438829, not only will you instantly see where vaccines near you are available, you will also be offered a free ride there and back, more employers are offering paid time off to get vaccinated, and, as we discussed today, there are clear benefits to your social life. 

Most importantly, you’ll be protected from a virus which is still racing around the world.

I will now hand it over to Dr. Walensky.

DR. WALENSKY:  Thank you.  Good morning.  I’m pleased to be back with you today.  Let’s begin with an overview of the data. 

Yesterday, CDC reported a little over 27,850 new cases of COVID-19.  Our seven-day average is about 27,700 cases per day.  This represents yet another decrease of more than 19 percent from the prior seven-day average and also marks the second day in a row where our seven-day average is less than 30,000 cases per day.  The last time the seven-day average of cases per day was this low was June 18th, 2020. 

The seven-day average of hospital admissions is slightly over 3,400, a decrease of almost 15 percent from the previous seven-day period and another positive trend.

And the seven-day average of daily deaths has also declined to a new low of 498 per day.

At the start of each briefing over the past few weeks, I’ve shared with you a snapshot of the data and, more recently, the encouraging decreases in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.  As each week passes and as we continue to see progress, these data give me hope. 

I also know that these snapshots are hard to put into the context after 16 months of reviewing them.  In isolation, each data point does not tell the full story of what we are seeing across the country. 

Today, I’d like to give you a bit of a deeper dive into the data and to share with you ways you can understand the progress your community is making.

Each day, CDC, in collaboration with partners across the government, releases a Community Profile Report, and updates our county-level data on COVID Data Tracker. 

When we look at COVID case incidents at county level, we see major decreases.  As I mentioned at the start of my remarks, we have seen a 20 percent decrease in the seven-day average of cases across the country, and we have seen some counties across the country have had an even greater decrease, including decreases of 25 percent in more — or more in just the past week. 

Each week, we also see a release of an assessment of county-level transmission risk, taking into account rate — COVID rates and COVID-19 test characteristics.  And we have used this transmission risk for many of our CDC guidance materials — for example, our school guidance. 

Importantly, over the past month, there has been a steady decline in the number of counties in the United States with a high risk of community transmission.  And more and more counties are moving to low or moderate transmission categories. 

We now have 307 counties, or 10 percent of the entire U.S., in which we would characterize having low transmission.  And there are 1,183 counties, or 37 percent of all U.S. counties, in the moderate transmission category, which we define as less than 50 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days. 

Now, if you look at this new slide up, I want to show you two maps of our country: one from January and one from this week.

CDC uses data on cases and county transmission to help us understand areas across the country where we may have concern for emerging or sustained outbreaks and where things have markedly improved, and also to understand the burden of infection at the local level, because we recognize that these decisions have to be made locally. 

When we look across the country, our areas of high or moderate burden — indicated by red and pink respectively — are shrinking.  And areas with low burden of disease — indicated by light green — are markedly increasing.  Many of the areas where previous high and moderate burden are now resolving and are highlighted on blue in this map. 

The map on the right demonstrates our national landscape that things are improving.  And we are seeing this week after week and with more and more green over time. 

These data are telling us a story: As more and more people roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, the number of cases and the level of community risk is decreasing. 

I want to thank everyone who has done their part to bring us where we are today, with more than 60 percent of Americans 18 and older having received at least one dose and being on their way to full vaccination, and 126.6 million Americans who are fully vaccinated. 

The progress in these data are so encouraging to me and, I hope, encouraging to you. 

And I know our work here is not done.  We still have many more people to get vaccinated.  I encourage everyone who is not yet fully vaccinated to visit and find a location to get your first or second shot. 

Thank you.  I’ll now turn things over to Dr. Fauci.

DR. FAUCI:  Thank you very much, Dr. Walensky.  I’d like to spend the next couple of minutes just underscoring and emphasizing the reasons why Dr. Walensky was able to show you such promising data, and that is the real-world effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.  And bringing you up to date on some of the data that confirms the things that we’ve been telling you over the last several press briefings. 

Next slide. 

This is an MMWR from the CDC, which is looking both at the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccine among healthcare personnel at 33 sites in the United States. 

Again, if you look at the effectiveness in the real-world setting — again, right at the point that we saw with the clinical trials — usually real-world settings have less of an efficacy than in the trials, as I’ve mentioned many times.  Not so here — 94 percent against symptomatic disease. 

Next slide. 

If you look at a very interesting study that came out two days ago in the New England Journal of Medicine looking at the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nursing home residents in those who are either vaccinated or unvaccinated, we see a very interesting phenomenon.

Among the 13,000 residents who were vaccinated who received two doses, there was a 1 percent infection within 0 to 14 days of the second dose, and practically no infections — namely, 0.3 percent — after 14 days. 

Note that 80 percent of the cases were asymptomatic among vaccinated individuals — something that we have seen in other situations. 

Next slide. 

On the other side of the coin are those in the same study who are unvaccinated.  If you look at the infection rate of those individuals within 0 to 14 days after the first clinic, they were 4.3 percent compared to the very small 1 percent in the previous slide, and they’re 0.3 percent if you waited more than 42 days.  This is a reflection of what is likely a mini version, within the nursing home setting, of herd immunity. 

Next slide. 

And then another multi-state Mayo Clinic Health System study where you look at adenovirus vector, namely the J&J.  I’ve been speaking to you up to now about the mRNAs.  So, after at least two weeks of follow-up, the vaccine effectiveness, again, was even greater in the United States here than we originally reported, with the 72 percent. 

Next slide. 

Again, more data.  This was a J&J paper that I showed to this group a few weeks ago, looking at the safety and the efficacy of the single-dose Ad26.  As you can see, the efficacy was 74 percent in the United States.

But now take a look at this a little bit more closely. 

Next slide. 

If you look at the hospitalizations and compare the placebo, in red, with the J&J, in blue, 14 days postvaccination, you see there’s 93 percent vaccine efficacy.  But if you wait at least 28 days postvaccination, it’s 100 percent with regard to hospitalizations. 

Next slide. 

And then when you look at deaths, there were no COVID-19 related deaths in the vaccine group, and five COVID-related deaths in the placebo group. 

And on the final slide, what does this tell us?  That vaccines protect you.  They protect your family.  And they interrupt the chain of transmission of the virus. 

So, the bottom line, as we’re all saying: Get vaccinated.

Passing it over to you, Dr. Murthy.

DR. MURTHY:  Well, thank you so much, Dr. Fauci.  And it’s good to be with all of you again this morning.  I’d like, today, to share some numbers with you concerning people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

The recent data from the CDC, involving a survey of over 14,000 people, showed that more than 70 percent of Americans are vaccinated, planning to get vaccinated, or likely to vaccinated.

And while a portion of the unvaccinated population do have questions about the vaccine, and while we are going to continue to mobilize trusted messengers through our COVID-19 Community Corps to help answer these questions, the truth is that, overall, vaccine confidence in the country remains high.  That is good news.

The data continues to point, though, to access barriers being an important additional concern among people who are unvaccinated.  There’s a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey which looked at pe- — those who are unvaccinated, but who wanted to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

What it found was that more than a third of people in this group said that they have not gotten vaccinated because they didn’t have enough time due to work hours or other schedule conflicts or because they just hadn’t gotten around to it.  About 7 percent of people said that they didn’t have information about how to get vaccinated.  Eight percent said they weren’t sure if they were eligible or had the right documentation.

These numbers may seem small, but they actually represent millions of people, and they are crucial to reach with vaccines if you want cases to come down and stay down.

Now, when we look at another part of the unvaccinated population — those who do not want to get vaccinated as soon as possible — it turns out here, too, access is an issue.  Among those who are employed, 28 percent say that they would be more likely to get vaccinated if they receive time off to receive and recover from the vaccine.  Another 20 percent say they would be more likely if their shot was administered in their workplace.

So, employers not only have an opportunity to increase vaccination rates, but if you look at one more piece of data, it turns out that they can also help to close the equity gap in vaccinations.  This is so important because we’ve said from the beginning that success is not just determined by how many people we get vaccinated, but by how equitably and fairly we vaccinate our population.  And workplaces, it turns out, can play a role in that. 

Because among the unvaccinated, 64 percent of Hispanic adults and 55 percent of Black adults have concerns about missing work to recover from vaccinations compared to 41 percent of white adults. 

And that’s why the recently announced tax credits for businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 employees are so important — because they provide financial support for businesses providing time off for employees to actually get the vaccine and recover from temporary side effects.  We want people to know about this.  We want businesses to take advantage of it.

This next phase of the vaccination campaign was — will be driven, more than anything, by the people and organizations and communities who help to vaccinate their families, their friends, and others in their neighborhoods.  It’s why we’ve been saying that addressing access, motivation, and vaccine confidence requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. 

But, thankfully, people all across America are stepping up to meet this moment.  Businesses like Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que are giving workers time off if they get vaccinated, and The Feeding Zoo is administering vaccines on site to visitors, volunteers, and employees.  Young Invincibles — a young adult advocacy group and a member of our COVID-19 Community Corps — recently launched “Don’t miss out, LA,” a campaign that trains young people to spread the word about the vaccine on all fronts: peer-to-peer texting, phone banking, social media, QR code stickers placed in popular LA spots, and, of course, the good old-fashioned, in-person conversation.

And ParentsTogether — another one of our COVID-19 Community Corps members, which is a parent-led and parent-powered organization which provides trusted information to families — they have engaged hundreds of thousands of patients — of parents online about their questions about vaccines, any concerns they may have, and stories about their vaccinations.

So, today, we are asking everyone to help spread the word about getting vaccinated as part of our “Digital Day of Action.”   And we are encouraging communities to visit; to text their ZIP Code to 438829, which spells get “GETVAX,” or to 882862, which spells “VACUNA,” and you can find available vaccines near you.

So please reach out to your family and friends.  Please share this with the members of your organization, whether it’s your employees or your volunteers.  Remind people the vaccine is free of charge.  It’s now easier to get than ever before.  And remind people also that the vaccine remains our single-best pathway out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you so much, and I’ll turn it back to Andy.


Okay, we’ll take some questions.

MODERATOR:  Thanks, Andy, and happy Friday.  Let’s go to Victoria Knight at Kaiser.

Q    Hey, thanks for taking my question.  My question is for Dr. Walensky.  Will the CDC be updating their dashboard daily with state-by-state race and ethnicity data?  And also, what is the CDC planning to do about the high percentage of missing data on race and ethnicity, which is close to about 40 percent?

DR. WALENSKY:  Thank you for that question, Victoria.  We have been updating our website.  I can’t say that it’s daily; I believe that it’s weekly.  And we actually have a new — new feature, just in the last week, looking at how we are doing for vaccine distribution in a two-week rolling basis. 

We are working actively with states’ public health and localities to try and get more access to race and ethnicity data and have actually made some progress in that regard, and we’re continuing to do so.


MODERATOR:  Steve Portnoy, CBS.

Q    Hi, thanks for taking my question.  All of the data that the doctors have laid out this morning is extremely encouraging, but some people saw the crowd of close to 70 — presumably, fully vaccinated — people in the East Room at the White House yesterday.  And some said on social media that the sight made them nervous. 

So, to the doctors, what do you say to those people who may have spent the last 15 months following your advice to strictly avoid crowds, who might not be psychologically ready to do what you now know to be safe if they’ve been vaccinated?  Dr. Fauci, are these lingering fears irrational?  And to Dr. Walensky, what does it say about the response to the CDC’s communications over the last week if people do continue to have that fear?

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Dr. Fauci, do you want to begin?

DR. FAUCI:  Well, I would say that fears like that are not irrational.  I mean — I mean, people — it’s understandable when you’re used to a certain type of behavior, and then, when the science says that you can actually turn around, that — as we’ve said with the recent CDC guidelines that say we can feel comfortable; that if you’re fully vaccinated, that you are safe from being infected, be it outdoors or indoors — you can understand that when people have been following a certain trend for a considerable period of time, that it may take time for them to adjust.  So I would not say that that’s irrational; I’d say that’s understandable.


DR. WALENSKY:   And I would — thank you.  I would echo much of what Dr. Fauci had said.  You know, when we released our guidelines and the — and the science said it was safe to do so, we also acknowledge that not everybody is going to feel like it’s time to rip off their masks.  For 16 months, we’ve been saying that it’s important to wear these masks to protect yourselves.  And now, what we’re saying is — it’s going to be hard to get back to, you know, life as we knew it without these masks, and we’re going to do so tipping our — dipping our toe in the water and having everybody move at their own pace.

We specifically have acknowledged that if you are vaccinated, there is no shame, no problem in continuing to wear your mask.  And just like it has been hard to have everybody get masked, I think this is going to take some time for us all to get used to.


MODERATOR:  Peter Sullivan, The Hill.

Q    Hi, thanks.  I wanted to ask about the vaccine lottery incentive programs some states have been doing.  Ohio, New York, and Maryland all have, you know, lotteries or prize money you can be entered in if you vaccinate.  I wonder if you, kind of, think that’s a good idea.  And have you been talking to states about that?  Are you going to encourage more states to have these kind of lottery incentives?

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Well, from the data we’ve seen, they appear to be working.  And I think the reason they work is because the vast number of people who are not yet vaccinated are actually not opposed to getting vaccinated; they’re just not prioritizing it very high.  There are other things going on in their lives.

And so things that draw attention to it, like the lotteries in those states you mentioned, are — not surprisingly — very effective, and so we’re enthusiastic.

Next question.

MODERATOR:  Jeremy Diamond, CNN.

Q    Hey, thanks for taking the question.  I’m wondering: How do you all anticipate that declining deaths and cases will affect people’s decision to get vaccinated, especially for those who are still on the fence?  And then, secondly, I’m wondering if you guys have an update on the doses that you plan to send abroad, what the timing for that is, and if you’ve settled on a process for deciding which countries will get doses and how many.  Thanks.

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  So why don’t we start with the first question, which is the impact of — the improving outlook of the pandemic on people’s willingness and interest in getting vaccinated.

Dr. Murthy, do you want to start with that?

DR. MURTHY:  Sure.  Thanks, Andy.  And, Jeremy, I appreciate the question.  I think it’s a good one. 

Look, it can be easy to look at the circumstances right now with all of the improvements Dr. Walensky laid out — cases, hospitalizations, deaths — and think, “We’re out of this pandemic.  We don’t have to get vaccinated or take precautions anymore.”  But that would not be the right lesson to take. 

The right message, we believe, is that we are seeing improvements because people have in fact gotten vaccinated.  And if we continue on this path — get more people vaccinated — we can sustain that decline in cases that we’ve seen in the decline of deaths and hospitalizations.  But if we stop where we are right now — if people do not get fully vaccinated; the millions who are out there who still need to — then we will still be at risk, potentially, for more infections in the future.

And we want to protect everybody in our country from this virus, so that’s why we will continue to emphasize that we should keep moving forward with vaccinations.  Do not let your guard down.   But be —  be encouraged and cautiously optimistic that we are absolutely heading in the right direction.  We just can’t — you know, we can’t take our foot off the accelerator.

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Yeah. There’s good evidence — if people don’t feel at risk of dying of the measles, yet they still get their vaccination.  So, I think we just have a much more continued education with the public to do, and many, many more people will get vaccinated. 

Jeremy, your other question, which I think you ask frequently, is about the status of doses to other countries.  To confirm that, we have committed that before the Fourth of July — and we are waiting on FDA approval — 80 million doses of — which is 13 percent of all of the doses that have been procured in the U.S. — are going to be sent overseas.  That’s in addition to the $4 billion commitment that we’ve led with COVAX. 

And — so, we are — we don’t have a status yet on either the FDA approval of the AstraZeneca doses, and nor do we have news to report today about where those doses are going. 

But I will reiterate something the President said, which is that those decisions are being made on two factors: science and public health, and equity — and no other factors.

Next question.

MODERATOR:  Maureen Groppe, USA Today.

Q    Hi, can you talk a little bit about how the dating app initiative came about, and also whether this is a first for the White House to get involved in dating sites?

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  I suppose I have to take that question, huh?

DR. MURTHY:  (Laughs.)  Well, all you, Andy.

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Thanks, everybody.  (Laughter.)  You know, as we were talking about earlier, in all seriousness, people are interested in other things in life besides their vaccine.  But the vaccine enables people to get back to the things that they enjoy in life. 

And, you know, Dr. Murthy has written extensively, in all seriousness, about the concept of loneliness and about social contact and so forth.  And so, while it is, kind of, a funny thing to talk about, the truth of the matter is people do want to get back to their normal lives, they do have questions about making sure that they can do that safely, and that’s great.  So, we are — we’re obviously pleased with that.  And the fact that this reaches that — those many people. 

You know, I think — I applaud the initiative on these companies’ parts.  I think it’s their effort.  And, you know, we — and we have conversations with them, but this is things that they were — that they’re — that they were doing because they saw a need in their audience base.  So, I think that’s — I think that’s the gist of it.

Next question.

MODERATOR:  Tommy Christopher.

Q    Sorry, I — I have trouble with this unmute button.

Okay, well, thanks for doing this.  And, you know, I — I have a question, and I kind of hate to bring this up, but I really have — feel like I have to. 

I don’t know if you guys saw this viral video from Ricky Schroder earlier in the week, yelling at some poor guy at Costco.  But I also — I live in New Jersey, another state that hasn’t dropped the mask mandates.  And, you know, it’s been bad all along, but it has gotten even worse since the new vaccination — the guidelines for vaccinated people. 

You know, people come down here on the weekends and in the summertime, and they scream at our restaurant workers because they have to wear a mask to go from the door to their table.  And, you know, I just — I’m wondering what you guys have to say about all that.

And, I mean, I know Governor Phil Murphy says that, you know, it’s not fair to ask a frontline worker to decide whether or not someone presenting themselves at a business is vaccinated or not.  And so, I mean, what do you think about all that?

I mean, there’s — a friend of mine told me that a customer threatened to get her fired because she asked him to wear a mask. 

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Thanks for the question.  Look, the last year and a half has been one of the most intense periods in our lives.  People are feeling a lot of stress.  And they’re feeling, as Dr. Fauci said earlier, very, you know, normal feelings adjusting.  Let’s just treat each other with respect. 

Next question. 

MODERATOR:  Last question, let’s go to Meg Tirrell at CNBC.

Q    Thanks.  I was intrigued by what Dr. Murthy said about how employers could play a bigger role in helping people get vaccinated. 

What would you like to see in terms of them offering on-site vaccination clinics?  And what do you see as the barriers for employers to be able to do that?

And if I can add just a second question for Dr. Fauci or Dr Walensky.  You know, there’s been a lot of focus on immunocompromised folks and the fact that vaccines may not provide the same protection for them.  Do you see monoclonal antibodies potentially being used for those folks preventively?  Is that a potential good option for people who don’t get so much protection from the vaccines?

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Let me — let me start because I do have — we’ve been tracking very closely here how employers — and hi, Meg, thanks for the question — how employers are, in fact, creating near-site and on-site clinics.  They’re creating — they’re either doing this on their own, through the states, or they’re creating partnerships with some of the pharmaceutical companies, and — I’m sorry, not pharmaceutical companies — pharmacies who are — who are capable of providing that capability. 

We have begun a process which we might talk about at some point where we are helping to match up employers who have lots of employees on their sites with people who provide those services, and we think it’s fairly commonplace.

I’m not sure we have any data on this, but — but it’s a great thing for an employer to do and if you’re an employer out there, I would strongly encourage you to do this, as well as giving your employees time off.

Dr. Murthy, did you have anything you wanted to add about that before I turn to Dr. Fauci?

DR. MURTHY:  Sure.  Well, thanks Andy.  And, Meg, thanks for the question.  I would just say, look, we really think employers can play a powerful role here.  The goal here is to bring vaccines closer to where people are. 

Workplaces are obviously a place where people spend a lot of time.  And workplaces can help in three ways: by helping build vaccine confidence by sharing information, by motivating people to get vaccines both by encouraging them and also enabling other people to share their vaccination story, and also by improving access.  These are three concrete ways.

The barriers, though, that we often see is: Number one, employers may not always know that — about just how important a role they can play and what they can do.  They may wonder about logistically how to arrange it — whether it’s a partnership with the pharmacy — or what materials to share.  And they also may wonder if it’s actually working.

And this is one of the reasons why not only we set up the tax credit program and other, you know — other tools, but we built the COVID-19 Community Corps to provide a community where people can share best practices, support one another, and take these sort of innovative measures and steps that will help bring vaccines closer to where people are. 

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  Dr. Fauci, I believe the second question Meg asked was about the use of monoclonals as prophylactics. 

DR. FAUCI:  Yeah, well, certainly it is an issue that we are concerned about is people who are immunosuppressed, particularly profoundly immunosuppressed — such as some of the solid organ transplant patients, but also others who might have autoimmune diseases who are receiving a variety of immunosuppressive agents. 

We are doing a major study here at NIAID on just those individuals to determine what the best approach is — whether an additional boost.

The idea of monoclonal antibodies is a reasonable idea.  It has not been studied in that context where you give people monoclonal antibody because, again, given the half-life of these antibodies, you would have to give them over a period of time — whether or not it would be feasible to have people who in fact don’t have a good immune response to be given monoclonal antibody every several months.  But it’s certainly something worth addressing and worth studying. 

One of the other ways of approaching it, which is in the arena of therapy, is to try and get some therapies, particularly direct-acting antiviral agents, so that when people who are in that category of immunosuppressed actually do get infected, you can treat them immediately so that they don’t progress.  Or even — the way we’ve done with HIV — to give, actually, prophylactics.

So there are a lot of different options, Meg, that are being pursued because we do really feel that this is a substantial problem that we need to address. 

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT:  And maybe in an upcoming session, we’ll highlight the status of the trials of the antivirals at the right time. 

Anyway, thank you all.  Have a very happy Friday and a great weekend.

11:37 A.M. EDT

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