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The White House Covid Czar Says He’s Still Optimistic About More Aid, Despite Recent Republican Objections.

The White House Covid Czar Says He’s Still Optimistic About More Aid, Despite Recent Republican Objections.

President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator said Thursday that he remained optimistic that Congress would approve billions of dollars in new emergency aid to fight Covid, even as Republicans on Capitol Hill have made clear the aid package is all but dead.

“I’m an eternal optimist,” the coordinator, Dr. Ashish K. Jha, told reporters during a White House briefing. “I remain convinced that Congress is not going to walk away at this point in the pandemic, when we have made so much progress.”

But while Dr. Jha may be an optimist, the mood among Senate Republicans is pessimistic; some even assert the White House lied to them earlier this spring when officials said that, without new aid, the administration would have no money to purchase vaccines and antiviral drugs. More recently, the White House said it was taking money out of other programs to buy the drugs and shots.

Dr. Jha’s remarks came as the Biden administration is focused on rolling out coronavirus shots for newly eligible children as young as 6 months old. He said that the White House had so far delivered more than four million doses of pediatric vaccine for children in that age group, but that the administration would not know how many doses had been administered until next week. The Pfizer-BioNTech protocol for the very young requires three shots, while Moderna’s requires two.

One concern is whether the vaccines, which have often been administered in pharmacies, will be as readily accessible to the very youngest children as they were to other age groups. A federal law, the…

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