Biden says Trump “didn’t do his job” as part of the coronavirus vaccination program, urges patience
© Reuters. US President Joe Biden visits the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland
From Alexandra Alper
BETHESDA, Md. (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden said Thursday the coronavirus vaccination program inherited from Donald Trump was in “much worse shape” than expected, called for patience and announced that the government would buy 200 million more doses have .
“We’re not going to get everything fixed for a while, but we’re going to fix it,” Biden said in a statement to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
With demand for the vaccine far exceeding supply, Americans are struggling to get appointments for their vaccinations, and Biden has an acute problem less than a month after taking over Trump.
Biden said Trump, who spent his last two months in office to discard the November 3 presidential election results that he lost, did not order enough vaccine and did not do enough to get people in for vaccination bring a number.
He said the vaccination program he inherited was in “much worse shape” than expected and his transition team had been misled about vaccine supplies.
“While scientists have done their job discovering vaccines in record time, my predecessor – I will be very frank about this – did not do his job to prepare for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions,” said Biden.
Brian Morgenstern, a former White House official involved in the coronavirus effort, said the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program had plans in advance, supported by many career officials still in the government .
“So the new administration’s goals were exceeded before they even came into office. Enough with the lies, excuses and political pot shots. Time to lead,” he said.
Trump took pride in the speed of vaccine development on his watch.
Biden said the U.S. coronavirus death toll is expected to reach 500,000 next month. He urged Americans to wear masks to prevent the spread.
“We’ve now bought enough vaccine to vaccinate all Americans,” said Biden.
He said the US government had contracts for 100 million doses of the Modern (NASDAQ 🙂 vaccine and 100 million more Pfizer (NYSE 🙂 to achieve the goal.
“We appreciate the confidence that the US government has shown in our COVID-19 vaccine,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a press release.
Pfizer spokeswoman Sharon Castillo confirmed that she and BioNTech had reached an agreement with the US government.
“We will deliver 100 million cans by the end of March, a total of 200 million cans by the end of May, and the full 300 million cans by the end of July,” she said.
The new vaccine orders would allow the United States to vaccinate a total of 300 million people with doses of the two approved vaccines by July 31, in addition to the 400 million doses previously contracted.
That would be enough to get most of the people in the 330 million population who want it, as the two vaccines aren’t approved for children and many people have said they don’t want gunshots.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE 🙂 vaccine candidate is expected to be approved later this month, and the company expects to ship 100 million doses of its single vaccine to the US by mid-year.