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Photo: Toya Sarno Jordan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday that he expects Americans will be having small get-togethers "well before" President Biden's July 4 target.

Catch up quick: Biden announced in a primetime address on Thursday that he was ordering states to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all residents by May 1, and set a goal for Americans to be able to safely congregate in small groups by the Fourth of July

  • But Gottlieb — who led the FDA under President Trump, now serves on Pfizer's board, and has been a leading public health voice throughout the pandemic — said on Friday: "I think we should be giving public health advice that is in line with where people are."
  • "[When] people feel the risk declining because they’ve been vaccinated, because they see infection levels going down in many parts of the country, they’re going to be willing to take more risk because they sense that their vulnerability is declining. And you know what? They’re right."

The big picture: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidance this month that said fully vaccinated people can gather in small groups indoors — without masks — and still be safe.

  • But the agency has cautioned against travel, even for vaccinated Americans, and warned states not to lift restrictions too early out of concern for another coronavirus wave driven by new variants.
  • About 19% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, per CDC data. About 10% are fully vaccinated.

Go deeper

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.

4 hours ago - World

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentioning Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."

3 killed, 2 wounded overnight in Kenosha bar shooting

Three people died and two were hospitalized with serious injuries after a gunman entered bar in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, the police department said in a statement on Sunday. Police responded to the shooting at around 12:42 a.m. and the suspect has not been found.

The big picture: The midnight shooting is the latest in a string of deadly mass shootings to hit the U.S. since March, fueling a debate in Washington about how to regulate the weapons.

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