A White House official said Tuesday that 50% of American adults will reach full vaccination status on May 25.
The news comes over one year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. was at 49.8% of fully vaccinated adults as of Monday, according to data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This milestone means almost 131 million people are fully vaccinated, CNN reported.
President Joe Biden said earlier in May that he wants at least 70% of adults in the country to receive at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4. The White House has pushed vaccinations hard and the president appeared to give Americans an ultimatum on May 13 – after the CDC issued updated mask guidance.
“The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do. The choice is yours,” Biden tweeted following the new guidelines.
Vaccinated Americans can now forgo masks outdoors and in most indoor situations, though masks are still encouraged in crowded situations. The guidelines were updated just after a New York Times newsletter detailed how epidemiologists believe the CDC was grossly overstating outdoor transmission rates.
“There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table,” the NYT wrote.
In addition to half of American adults being fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, 52% of U.S. adults now have at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the White House, which touts reaching 200 million shots in 100 days on its website.
The administration has been reluctant to credit former President Donald Trump on vaccines despite them being developed under Operation Warp Speed. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in March she doesn’t “think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in the country have died of this pandemic.” (RELATED: NBC’s Peter Alexander Presses Psaki On Why Administration Won’t Give Trump Any Credit For Vaccines)