Multiple Biden administration officials as well as state and local leaders are set to appear on the Sunday talk shows this weekend as the nation grapples with how to curb the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.
The U.S. is averaging 100,000 new infections per day, just weeks after dropping to an average of 11,000 cases per day in late June. Officials say the highly transmissible delta variant is driving the recent spike.
Anthony Fauci, who will appear on NBC’s Meet the Press” on Sunday, said earlier this week that the U.S. could see up to 200,000 daily cases this fall because of how many people are still unvaccinated.
Several areas have seen major increases in cases, including Florida, which reported more new COVID-19 cases on Friday than any other day since the start of the pandemic.
Still, vaccinations have also increased, with the White House saying Friday that half of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated. The seven-day average of newly vaccinated people rose 44 percent in two weeks. As of Saturday afternoon, 166.2 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
The increase in new infections has sparked debate over masks mandates, particularly as schools return for in-person learning this fall.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) is set to appear on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, days after a judge in his state shot down Arkansas’s mask prohibition for schools. Hutchinson signed the bill into law earlier this year, but has since expressed regret over it, citing the rise in new cases.
The administration called out governors who imposed such prohibitions this week, with President Biden urging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to “get out of the way of people who are trying to do the right thing.”
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, who will also appear on “Face the Nation,” criticized the governor’s actions in a news conference Thursday, urging leaders to not “be the reason why schools are interrupted.”
Other issues expected to headline the talk shows this weekend are the Biden administration’s decision to issue a new eviction moratorium, despite the president acknowledging it may not meet legal muster, as well as Senate efforts to advance a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal.
Here’s the full Sunday show lineup:
ABC’s “This Week” — Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health; Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan; Janis Shinwari, co-founder of No One Left Behind; Michael Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University; Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Education Secretary Miguel Cardona; Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.); Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County, Fla., Public Schools; Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.
CNN’s “State of the Union” — Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.); White House adviser Anita Dunn.
Fox News Sunday— Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.); Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures — Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.); Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.); Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO and chairman; John Ratcliffe, former DNI; Candace Owens, Author of “Blackout.”