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Previous story Biden scored a major legislative victory, but now comes the hard part Next story

STORY BY MAEVE RESTON, CNN

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Published on March 15, 2021 2:37 AM

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Biden scored a major legislative victory, but now comes the hard part
(CNN)After savoring the passage of his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package in the Rose Garden last week, President Joe Biden begins the tough work of enacting what he called a "transformational" piece of legislation, while also trying to sell Americans on the progressive goals the bill embraced.

As stimulus checks are rolling into the bank accounts of Americans, the President and first lady and Vice President Kamala Harris and the second gentleman are all hitting the road this week for a "Help is Here" tour, including stops in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Georgia and Nevada. They'll explain how they will achieve the goals Biden laid out in a speech to the nation last week, including making all adult Americans eligible for the vaccine by May 1 -- a move he hopes will set the stage for small gatherings with friends and family by July Fourth. But with ambitious timelines comes risk. Those benchmarks are now the criteria against which the administration will be measured at a precarious time with a pandemic that has defied many predictions and prognosticators over the past year. The President's Covid-19 response team said in a briefing Friday that they believe they will have enough vaccine supply in place for all American adults by the end of May after securing commitments for 200 million doses from Moderna, an additional 200 million doses from Pfizer and another 100 million doses from Johnson & Johnson.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist said Sunday that the administration still has a great deal of work to do in expanding the number of vaccination sites and vaccinators to ensure there's the infrastructure to vaccinate all Americans who want to get their shots by the end of May. The administration has repeatedly touted that it has doubled the amount of vaccine going out to the states during Biden's first seven weeks in office -- and are now averaging about 2.2 million shots per day -- but major challenges remain. Fauci noted that Americans are still at risk, pointing to the fact that cases have gone down but plateaued as they did in Europe, where many young people abandoned mask wearing, triggering a new surge.