Joe Biden says Trump’s Covid vaccine efforts are falling far short of their own goals

Elected President Joe Biden On Tuesday, he criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to distribute and administer the Covid vaccine, saying the administration had failed to achieve its goals.

“The Trump administration’s plan to distribute vaccines is lagging behind and too late,” he said in a press briefing. “As I have long feared and warned, efforts to distribute and administer the vaccine are not progressing as they should.”

He said his administration will “move heaven and earth” to speed up the distribution and management of Covid vaccines once he takes office on January 20. He repeated his administration’s pledge to give 100 million doses of the vaccine by his 100th day in office.

To achieve this goal, he said, “It would take an increase from five to six times the current velocity to one million rounds per day.” He said his team would act more aggressively to ramp up injection administration, but even at a million a day, it would take months to vaccinate the majority of the population.

“This will be the biggest operational challenge we have ever faced as a nation,” he added. “We’ll get it. It will require a new, large-scale effort. It hasn’t started yet.”

Biden said his administration would also be based on the Defense Production Act, a wartime law that enables the president to compel companies to prioritize manufacturing for the sake of national security, to ensure manufacturers have sufficient materials needed to produce vaccines. He said he would also use the authority to expand production of personal protective equipment such as masks.

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He added that his administration “will set up vaccination sites and send mobile units to hard-to-reach communities.”

While more than 11.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed to states as of Monday, just over 2.1 million doses have been administered. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency notes that its data may lag behind the actual number of doses administered as states and judicial authorities report the data.

“A significant difference between the number of doses distributed and the number of doses administered at this stage in the Coronavirus vaccination program is expected due to several factors, including the delay in reporting the doses administered, the management of available vaccine stocks according to the jurisdictions, and the start-up of pending vaccination through partnership Federal Pharmacy for Long Term Care Program, “the agency says Vaccine tracking site.

CDC representatives did not respond to CNBC’s request for further comments about the discrepancy between the doses given and the doses administered.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, acknowledged Tuesday on CNN that the vaccine has been launched. Slower than expected.

“We are definitely not at the numbers we wanted to be at the end of December,” he said Interview with Jim Sciutto. “I think as we approach January, we will see an increase in momentum, which I hope will allow us, Jim, to keep up with the pace expected.”

Michael Pratt, spokesperson for Operation Warp Speed, reiterated that the number of doses reported by the CDC is likely to be lower than the number due to the delay in reporting the data.

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“Operation Warp Speed ​​remains on track to obtain approximately 40 million doses of the vaccine and allocate 20 million doses for the first vaccinations by the end of December 2020, with the distribution of 20 million first doses extending through the first week of January as states submit orders,” he said. In a statement.

Dr. Atul Guande, a member of Biden’s advisory team for Covid-19, said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” that the incoming administration does not have “all the information needed to understand where the bottlenecks are.”

He also indicated that he is concerned that the Trump administration is overly optimistic when it comes to the vaccination schedule. Trump’s Humanitarian Affairs Minister Alex Azar He said the general public should be able to be vaccinated by March.

“I am concerned about over-promising the time when things will be able to return to normal,” said Guande, a medical school surgeon. Brigham and Women’s Hospital In Boston and Professor at Harvard University.

He pledged that the Biden administration would be more transparent about where the problems were, whether in manufacturing, distribution or shot management.

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