Biden to speak on pandemic as COVID-19 restrictions roll back across the country

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden is expected to provide an update on the state of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States as restrictions across the country are slowly rolled back.

More than 30% of adult Americans are fully vaccinated and mask mandates are easing up with federal approval. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that most capacity restrictions will end Wednesday, May 19.

“This is going to be the summer of New York City,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news briefing last week. “We are all going to get to enjoy this city again, and people are going to flock here from all over the country to be a part of this amazing moment in New York City.”

NewsNation will livestream Biden’s remarks at 2:30 p.m. ET in the player above.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis moved to suspend all remaining COVID-19 restrictions imposed by communities across his state, signing into law on Monday freshly passed legislation giving him sweeping powers to invalidate local emergency measures put in place during the pandemic — including mask mandates, limitations on business operations and the shuttering of schools.

The restrictions rollback come as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for young adults age 12 and older by next week, a notable step in returning to normalcy. Currently, Americans older than 16 are approved for the shot.

However, with more contagious variants taking hold, efforts are underway to boost vaccinations, which have begun to lag. The average number of doses given per day fell 27% from a high of 3.26 million on April 11 to 2.37 million last Tuesday, according to the CDC.

About 105.5 million people, or 31.8% of the U.S. population, have been fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc/ BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, according to CDC data. 44.4% of the U.S. population, or 147.5 million adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

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