Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser of Operation Warp Speed, and HHS secretary Alex Azar on Sunday pushed back on President-elect Joe Biden’s claim that “there is no detailed plan” on COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
On Friday, Biden said at an event in Wilmington, Delaware that the Trump administration had shared information with his transition team about distributing a vaccine to various states, but that his team had not seen a “detailed plan.”
“There is no detailed plan that we’ve seen, anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe, into somebody’s arm,” Biden said on Friday.
Two days later, Slaoui appeared on CBS and refuted the President-elect’s remarks.
Moncef told CBS that despite having yet to meet with Biden, he will do so this week regarding distribution plans for COVID-19 vaccines.
“We haven’t had any meetings yet,” Slaoui said. “I know we have a meeting this coming week and we really look forward to it because actually things have been really very appropriately planned.”
Slaoui then dismissed Biden’s claim of a lack of a detailed plan from the Trump administration for the vaccine rollout, and suggested that there is “confusion” because states are responsible for “actually delivering” the vaccine.
“But there are videos, there are explanation exactly how to go about it. We plan to have all the ancillary material, the syringes, the needles, the swabs, everything co-localized with the vaccine. So, I think the plans are there,” Slaoui said. “And I feel confident that once we will explain it, everything in detail, I hope the new transition teams will understand that things are well planned.”
Slaoui insisted that Operation Warp Speed is committed to ensuring that vaccines are safely distributed to the public and that “we will do the best we can to make that happen through the transition without any interruption.”
NEW: Operation Warp Speed's Moncef Slaoui tells @margbrennan he hopes to brief president-elect @JoeBiden this week on efforts during the #COVID19 pandemic amid Biden's criticisms:
“I hope the new transition team will understand that things are well-planned” pic.twitter.com/IDjhFYhz8j
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 6, 2020
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar similarly refuted Biden’s remarks during an interview on “Fox News Sunday” by saying that “with all respect, that’s just nonsense.”
“We have comprehensive plans from the CDC, working with 64 public health jurisdictions around the country, as our governors have laid out very detailed plans that we’ve worked with them on.” Azar said. “We’re leveraging our retail pharmacies, our hospitals, our public health departments, our community health centers. We have the McKesson built kits that have the syringes, the diluent, the needles, the
PPE to administer.”
Azar added that COVID-19 vaccine distribution is “being micro-managed and controlled by the United States Military” and the private sector.
“We do hundreds of millions of vaccinations of a year,” Azar said. “We’re leveraging the systems that are known and that work here in the United States.”