Biden pitches COVID-19 relief plan, makes vaccine promise during town hall: 5 takeaways

President Joe Biden took questions on several topics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines and a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan at a town hall event in Milwaukee Feb. 16 hosted by CNN

Five takeaways: 

1. The president said COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Americans within six months. "By the end of July, we'll have over 600 million doses — enough to vaccinate every single American," President Biden said. That comment comes after the president said Feb. 11 that many Americans likely will not have been vaccinated by the end of summer and warned of logistical and distribution hurdles, according to The New York Times

2. The president urged Americans to get any COVID-19 vaccine they can. "If you're eligible, if it's available, get the vaccine. Get the vaccine," he said. 

3. President Biden said his goal is for the majority of K-8 schools to open five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the president's goal was to have the majority of schools open at least one day a week by the end of his first 100 days and to eventually get schools open five days per week, according to NPR. The president said the discrepancy was a "mistake in communication." 

4. To safely reopen schools, teachers should be given a higher priority for the vaccine, and everyone needs to wear protective gear, including students, teachers, bus drivers and custodians, the president said. 

5. President Biden pitched his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan during the town hall event, and indicated he's open to negotiation on a proposal for a $15 minimum wage included in the relief bill. The current plan includes a five-year phase-in for the higher minimum wage, but the president suggested he's open to a longer phase-in period, according to The Washington Post.

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