President Joe Biden said Monday that Americans could expect to continue dealing with the coronavirus pandemic into the early fall.
The president responded to a question from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, who asked whether Biden was fulfilling his campaign promise to “shut down” the virus.
“I’m going to shut down the virus, but I never said I’d do it in two months,” Biden said and added, “It’s going to take a heck of a lot of time.”
The president spoke to reporters about the battle against the virus after signing an executive order promoting federal purchasing from companies making their products in the United States.
Biden predicted that it would take much longer to eliminate the restrictive stage of the pandemic, noting that most vaccinations take two shots per person spread apart for three weeks.
“We’re still going to be dealing with this issue in the early fall,” he said, additionally noting that, “We’re in this for a while.”
Biden blamed the ongoing crisis on “mass disregard” of Americans not listening to health officials on wearing masks and failing to properly socially distance themselves from other people.
He predicted that there would likely be 660,000 deaths from the virus before the United States would even be allowed to turn the corner.
“It’s beginning to move in the right direction,” Biden said.
In a slightly more optimistic estimate, Biden said that vaccines would be available to anyone who wanted one by the spring, and that by the summer the United States could be “well on our way to heading toward” herd immunity.
“I feel good about where we’re going, and I think we can get it done,” he said.