President-elect Joe Biden is set to unveil a sweeping coronavirus vaccination plan on Thursday, calling the nationwide distribution effort his “number one priority.”
The plan, which Biden teased on Monday, will serve as the incoming administration’s roadmap to quickly vaccinating millions of Americans amid frustration over the slow rollout of the initial doses.
“Three thousand to 4,000 people a day dying is just beyond the pale, it’s just wrong,” Biden said Monday after receiving his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. “And we can do a lot to change it.”
Biden again vowed that his administration would fulfill its pledge of 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office, despite rising concerns among transition advisers that the effort could fall short, as POLITICO reported earlier Monday.
“My number one priority is getting the vaccine to people’s arms as we just did today as rapidly as we can, and we’re working on that program now,” Biden told reporters after getting his vaccine.
He added: “It’s going to be hard. It’s not going to be easy, but we can get it done.”
Biden insisted that he still has full confidence in his Covid team, after POLITICO reported that he had grown frustrated over the progress of their vaccine distribution planning, including at one point conveying to the team that they were underperforming.
Biden’s team is inheriting a vaccine rollout from the Trump administration that has gotten off to a sluggish start. Operation Warp Speed, the government’s vaccine accelerator, had initially estimated that 20 million shots would be given by the end of December. Instead, only about 2.6 million Americans were vaccinated last month, and nearly 9 million had received shots as of this morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.