WASHINGTON — There’s been plenty of recent news on the vaccination front.
The FDA granted full approval to Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for those 16 and older; President Biden on Monday urged more Americans to get vaccinated; so did Donald Trump on Saturday (but he got booed); and Dr. Anthony Fauci said on “TODAY” there was a “reasonable chance” that vaccines for children under 12 could start in the late fall or early winter.
So who’s been vaccinated in the United States? And who hasn’t?
Well, our most recent NBC News poll sheds some light on those question, with the survey finding that 69 percent of all adults say they’ve already been vaccinated, versus 13 percent saying they won’t get vaccinated under any circumstance.
And here are the American adults who say they’ve already been vaccinated — broken down by demographic group:
- All adults: 69 percent
- Men: 67 percent
- Women: 71 percent
- 18-34: 63 percent
- 35-49: 58 percent
- 50-64: 71 percent
- 65+: 86 percent
- Whites: 66 percent
- Blacks: 76 percent
- Latinos: 71 percent
- Urban residents: 79 percent
- Suburban residents: 67 percent
- Rural residents: 52 percent
- White evangelicals: 59 percent
- Democrats: 88 percent
- Independents: 60 percent
- Republicans: 55 percent
- Republicans who support Trump more than party: 46 percent
- Republicans who support party more than Trump: 62 percent
- Democratic Sanders-Warren voters: 88 percent
- Democratic Biden voters: 87 percent
- Biden voters in 2020 general election: 91 percent
- Trump voters in 2020 general election: 50 percent
- White non-college grads: 60 percent
- White college grads: 80 percent
Democratic drama that might (or might not) matter
Meanwhile, in Washington, there was some drama on Capitol Hill last night.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi and centrist House Democrats, locked in a standoff over the order the House should vote on bills, failed to reach a resolution by sundown as the two sides remained at odds over how to proceed after a series of meetings,” NBC’s Sahil Kapur writes.
“The group of centrist Democrats object to Pelosi's plan to begin work on the budget measure and to wait to pass the infrastructure bill.”
But since this infrastructure-reconciliation effort by Democrats is going to continue to play out through the fall, we’re not getting worked up about a procedural ideological standoff in late August. At least right now.
It’s kind of like the equivalent of a preseason NFL game. It could matter. Or it might not.
It’s still really early.
Tweet of the day
Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
9: The number of women now serving as governor, tying a record.
Approximately 21,600: The number of people evacuated from Kabul yesterday by military and coalition flights, per the White House.
23: The number of congressional districts where House Majority Forward is airing TV and digital ads to promote the Democrats' work on Covid relief, infrastructure and climate legislation.
92 inches: The height (7’8’’) of the tallest man in the U.S., Igor Vovkovinskiy, who passed away on Friday.
38,057,336: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 258,472 since yesterday morning.)
633,455: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 1,417 since yesterday morning).
51.5 percent: The share of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC.
62.5 percent: The share of all American adults at least 18 years of age who are fully vaccinated, per CDC.
Talking policy with Benjy: Drug deal
We’ll be looking at the most pivotal choices Democrats face in their $3.5 trillion budget bill all month at First Read. Near the top of the list is how to lower drug prices.
From a long-term policy perspective, drug prices are a major driver of health care costs. The U.S. already pays more than twice as much for brand-name prescription drugs as other wealthy countries, according to a RAND study. Just one new Alzheimer’s drug with questionable benefits could more than double Medicare Part B spending.
In the short-term, Democrats need the savings from drug pricing reform to fund other health care priorities in the Democratic bill. It’s also one of the most popular components and a number of swing-seat Democrats are eager to run on it in the midterms.
So far, the model in the House is the leadership-backed H.R. 3. Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. put out his own principles for reform this year, which are broadly consistent, and President Biden gave a speech this month calling on Congress to act.
The biggest consensus item is likely a cap on out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D recipients, a concept Republicans support in their own drug bill, H.R. 19. Another idea for savings with some GOP buy-in is requiring price increases to track overall inflation.
But the real meat of H.R. 3 is empowering Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies, which is currently prohibited. Democrats want to use those prices as the standard for private insurers as well, which would lower premiums on employer plans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates H.R. 3 could reduce federal spending by $456 billion over a decade.
With that much money at stake, expect fireworks in the coming weeks. Former President Trump supported Medicare negotiations in theory, but Republicans remain largely opposed in practice. Conservative groups are already running ads calling it a “socialist health care plan” and the drug lobby argues it will lead to fewer prescriptions being approved. Some Democrats are already uneasy with more wide-ranging reforms, especially in states like New Jersey with a heavy industry presence.
“The reason there’s bipartisan agreement on reforming the Part D benefit to create an out-of-pocket cap and the reason PhRMA supports that is because it would make the pharmaceutical industry more money,” Rachel Sachs, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told NBC News. “The industry has a track record of opposing essentially all proposals that will impact their bottom line.”
ICYMI: What else is happening in the world
One potential consequence of the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan is that they could have access to biometric and other data the government and fleeing Afghans left behind.
A former associate of Rudy Giuliani is expected to plead guilty to federal campaign finance charges, court documents show.
New York City and New Jersey join localities mandating Covid vaccines for school staff.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that former football star and potential GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker has registered to vote in Georgia (he had previously been registered in Texas).
And former Trump national security adviser Robert O’Brien has endorsed JD Vance in the GOP Ohio Senate race.