As early as January, the Times seemed to understand that Operation Warp Speed’s successes were little more than smoke and mirrors. The nation received announcements of an increase in production, but production actually slipped.
While the latest article credits Trump with repeatedly invoked the Defense Production Act to assist Pfizer in obtaining supplies As the Wall Street Journal reported in December, Pfizer had been forced to cut planned vaccine shipments, particularly because the manufacturing supply chain could not be secured. Nobody at Trump White House worked with Pfizer to give them what it took to meet the production goals. Absolutely no one was willing to work to provide production facilities to expand their capabilities. Instead of the planned 100 million cans, Pfizer had to cut the expected deliveries in half.
When it came to making these vaccines available to the public, there was nothing like a coherent plan. States that expected a federalized system based on months of Trump that promised a “military operation” administered by General Gustave Perna stated that there was no such system. Or even a plan for such a system. Instead, states had to develop their own vaccine delivery plans, with federal responsibility ceasing to deliver vaccines to their borders – a process that was largely outsourced to a distribution center that was outsourced to Texas-based McKesson Corporation.
States had to plan vaccination events. B.Judging by the number of doses they were given, they would be given each week just to keep those doses from occurring. As reported by CNN, states have repeatedly received far fewer doses than they were promised “without explanation”. The unpredictability of the numbers resulted in states being unable to plan the transportation, storage, or administration of vaccines, which arrived late, in reduced quantities, and on a schedule that changed without warning. And all of this happened as the number of COVID-19 cases was reaching an astounding peak.
All of this came to an amazing climax in January when the Minister of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, promised states that he would receive the doses that the federal government had reserved for giving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Then, as the Washington Post reported just five days before Joe Biden took office, it turned out there was no federal supply. Instead, Trump’s White House had artificially increased the apparent administration level by “taking second doses for the two-dose regime straight off the production line”.
This was where Biden stepped in: a system that not only consistently delivered fewer vaccines than promised and was unable to give states exact numbers of what was to come, but a system that was in a hole that was millions of Doses was deep.
When they got into this situation, even Biden’s team was amazed at how little there was to see when they could look behind the curtain. While the Times now claims that Biden’s team “Expectations stamped ”so that they could work miracles later, the truth is … they worked miracles. In an astonishingly short time, they replaced a system that was consistently below average, provided no reliable figures for states, and stole second doses in order to create the appearance of success with a program that is really successful.
Biden relied on Defense Manufacturing Act to not only make gloves or vials, but to provide Pfizer with expanded manufacturing facilities, recruit Merck to manufacture rival Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, and provide the raw materials necessary to remove the barriers to production required are. All of these are steps Trump simply did not take. The new White House team then relied heavily on pharmaceutical companies to achieve their goals and worked directly with them to make sure the goals didn’t slip anymore.
Crucially, Biden not only secured enough doses of vaccine to vaccinate every American – he secured more. In fact, President Biden will announce on Wednesday that he has purchased an additional 100 million doses of the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. This vaccine is specifically purchased in the event of unforeseen events that delay the production of Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine. Not only does Biden make sure Americans have all of the vaccines they need, he also secures a backup plan.
Biden is doing what his team did from the start: Treating the pandemic like a nationwide emergency that has already cost more than half a million lives. Trump treated the whole thing like one of his real estate deals, using hype and downright theft to paper a crumbling core.
Based on the steps Biden has taken, the Washington Post reports that Alaska is now the first state to offer vaccinations to anyone over the age of 16. It won’t be the last. Other states will be vaccinating large sections of the public in the next two weeks. Vaccinations can be expected for every adult in every state by April.
That happens despite what Trump has done. Not because of that.