WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A second antiviral pill now has emergency use authorization from the FDA to fight the COVID-19 virus. But Americans will still have to wait and do their part to fend off the virus. With not just one, but two COVID-19 antiviral pills in the works, the White House is getting ready to support both Pfizer and Merck.
“We’ve purchased 10 million of the Pfizer doses. We will not get the full package of that until the summer. We’ve also purchased three million Merck doses, which were just approved today and we expect to get the majority of those by the end of January,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Psaki says the federal government is prepared to do whatever it can to push these pills out. “All tools are on the table, including the use of the defense production act,” Psaki said.
However, the administration wants to remind Americans that the best way to fend off the virus is to get vaccinated and get boosted. As Americans stand in long lines for testing in many cities around the country, Psaki defended the administration’s efforts so far.
“We’re not where we need to be on testing. No one is saying we are. That’s why we’ve tried to take additional rapid steps and be as bold and ambitious as we can,” Psaki said.
And in an exclusive interview with World News Tonight anchor David Muir, President Joe Biden said the U.S. has come a long way in the past year. “Last Christmas we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated, emergency rooms were filled, we had serious backups in hospitals that were causing great difficulties,” the president said.
Multiple areas around the world are taking steps to mitigate the impact of the virus during the holidays. The White House says people can still enjoy this time of year with their families.