Dr. Anthony Fauci, adviser to the president on COVID-19, said on Tuesday that the plan that Joe Biden’s predecessor left for vaccine rollout was “rather vague,” reinforcing reports that the Trump administration left little in place to carry out the distribution of vaccines before leaving office last month.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the prior administration’s vaccination plan was “rather vague” and “not well-coordinated.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2021
The comments come after Vice President Kamala Harris told Axios in an interview that aired Sunday that the Biden administration was “starting from scratch” on its vaccinations plan.
“There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations,” Harris said. “We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so in many ways, we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year!”
When asked if he agreed with the assessment made by Harris, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said that “the actual plan of getting the vaccine doses into people’s arms was really rather vague.”
“It was not a well coordinated plan,” Fauci said of the former administration’s rollout effort. “Getting the vaccines made, getting them shipped through Operation Warp Speed was okay, but I believe what the vice president is referring to is: what is process of actually getting these doses into people?”
Fauci told CNN’s Jim Sciutto that the incoming administration had to “get much better organized” around its distribution of vaccines, expanding its reach to community vaccine centers, as well as involving pharmacies and mobile units.
Fauci said Tuesday that his concern has now shifted to building supply, warning that demand for vaccine has now outweighed the supply of doses available.
The White House has repeatedly said that it has secured enough of the two vaccines that have been authorized by the FDA to provide enough doses of the vaccine to cover all Americans by the end of the summer. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden’s administration also had plans to increase coronavirus vaccine supplies sent to states to 13.5 million doses per week.
“As we get further into the spring, there will be more and more,” Fauci said, adding: “We need more doses. We have a good plan how to get the doses into people’s arms, we just need more vaccine.”