Transcript for US averages 2 million vaccine doses per day
. Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a Thursday night. And we begin tonight with the images from across the country, ramping up vaccinations, and that number. Now 2 million shots a day. And it comes as the president and Dr. Fauci warns now is not the time to lift restrictions. Here in New York tonight, van key stadium offering vaccinations around the clock. FEMA opening nine new megasites across the country this week. Look at this. People lining up for their shot in Orlando today. The supply to states is now up by about 26% from just a week ago. And tonight, that key number, 53,986,000 people have now received at least one dose, that's more than 20% of all adults. And tonight, the debate growing over states now lifting mask restrictions. Texas and Mississippi moving to allow businesses to reopen at 100% capacity. The Texas governor tonight now responding after president Biden criticized the move. And the Republican governor from Alabama today saying their statewide mask mandate is working, extending it into next month. And all of this as new numbers from the CDC tonight show an uptick now. Covid cases increasing 3.5% within the last week. Deaths up more than 2%. ABC's whit Johnson leading us off tonight from New York. Reporter: Tonight, a pivotal milestone. The U.S. Now averaging 2 million vaccine doses per day. Hundreds in long lines waiting for shots in Florida. The National Guard assisting in Kansas City. I just want to get a vaccine and one that will work. Reporter: Starting today, Yankee stadium will be one of the mass vaccination sites offering appointments 24 hours per day. But the overnight appointments are reserved for that new single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Alabama today easing restrictions on indoor dining, but keeping its mask mandate for another month. The bottom line is we've kept the mask mandate in place for more than a generous period of time because it's helped. Reporter: But Mississippi and Texas dropping masks altogether. The Texas governor defending his move after the president called it "Neanderthal thinking." The mask requirement being eliminated isn't going to make that big of a change in the state of Texas. Also, people in Texas will continue to wear masks, even though there's not a state mandate. Reporter: Texas has reported more cases in the past week than any other state in the country, nearly 50,000. Now is not the time to pull back. Over the last seven days or so, we've reached a bit of a plateau where the deflection of the curve isn't going straight down the way it was. That's a bad sign. Reporter: Dr. Joseph Varon from Houston's united memorial medical center has been on the front lines of the covid fight for 350 straight days. Do you think Texas is ready to remove the mask? Absolutely not. In April, we lifted the restrictions in the state of tb Texas and Goss what? May, June and July were the worst months of my life. I signed more death certificates on those three months than ever in my entire life. Reporter: You'll remember Dr. Varon from this touching image that went viral last year, wrapped in ppe, comforting a covid patient. But he's now worried loosening restrictions could threaten progress. That light at the end of the tunnel, at least in Texas, got a little farther away than what it was. Great to hear from Dr. Varon again tonight after so much time. And whit is with us from Yankee stadium tonight, where they are ramping up those vaccinations. The race so vaccinate is also a race to stay one step ahead of the variants. And I know you have new numbers tonight involving variants and the spread across the country? Reporter: David, this is one of the biggest concerns among health officials right now at this pivotal moment. That highly contagious uk variant has now been confirmed in 48 states and in Texas alone, which just lifted its mask mandate, officials have confirmed five different variants including troubles strains from the uk, Brazil and South Africa. Whit Johnson leading us off tonight. Whit, thank you.
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