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Biden touts new CDC mask guidelines, vaccine efforts ‘Today is a great day for America’

President Biden delivers remarks about the Colonial Pipeline hack from the White House on Thursday. (Evan Vucci/AP)
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President Biden on Thursday touted the nation’s coronavirus vaccine campaign and other efforts to combat the pandemic, calling it “a great day for America” hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed federal masking guidelines to say that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

“I think it’s a great milestone, a great day,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly.”

Biden urged those who have not yet gotten the shot to do so as soon as possible and to wear a mask until they been fully vaccinated.

“It’s going to take a little more time for everyone who wants to get vaccinated to get their shots. So all of us, let’s be patient with one another,” Biden said.

Earlier Thursday Biden said the FBI continues to believe that the Russian government was not behind the cyberattack that led to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline but that “the criminals who did the attack are living in Russia.” In remarks from the White House, Biden also urged U.S. motorists not to panic amid fuel shortages and predicted a return to normalcy this weekend.

Biden also convened an Oval Office meeting with six Republican senators as he continues to try to build support for a sweeping infrastructure package.

Here’s what to know:

  • Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is seeking to shore up support to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) in the No. 3 leadership position among House Republicans. Cheney was ousted Wednesday by her colleagues as conference chairwoman.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the degree to which Republican lawmakers minimized the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, likening the assault to a visit of tourists, “fell into the range of sick.”
  • After verbally harassing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in the Capitol on Wednesday night, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) escalated her attacks in tweets.
  • The president of the nation’s second-largest teachers union is calling for a return to full-time school this fall, a move that could smooth the way to a return to normalcy.