WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS 1130) – The pomp and circumstance are behind him, and U.S. President Joe Biden now has the daunting task of trying to turn around America’s dire pandemic situation.
As he gets set to make close to a dozen executive orders during his first full day in office, Biden is reportedly inheriting a virtually non-existent COVID-19 vaccination plan.
“Sources with direct knowledge of the new administration’s Covid-related work told CNN one of the biggest shocks that the Biden team had to digest during the transition period was what they saw as a complete lack of a vaccine distribution strategy under former President Donald Trump, even weeks after multiple vaccines were approved for use in the United States,” reports the network’s MJ Lee.
“There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch,” one source said. Another source described the moment that it became clear the Biden administration would have to essentially start from “square one” because there simply was no plan as: “Wow, just further affirmation of complete incompetence.”
Prior to Inauguration Day, Lee says some of Biden’s COVID-19 advisers had wanted to be careful not to be overly critical in public of the Trump administration’s handling of the virus and vaccine.
“They were already struggling to get important information from the Trump White House on everything related to COVID and vaccines,” she reports.
The new White House communications director refuses to point fingers, only saying that the Biden administration plans to ramp up its vaccine plans immediately.
“What I can speak to is what we are doing, which is to increase supply,” says Kate Bedingfield.
We are currently facing four converging crises — COVID-19, the resulting economic crisis, climate change, and racial inequity. Today, President Biden took actions to combat these challenges. pic.twitter.com/091jmvCukk
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2021
“There are a number of ways in which we are working very closely with the pharmaceutical companies to ensure that they increase supply so that we have the supply we need,” she tells CNN, adding that there are also logistical issues to deal with.
Among Biden’s executive actions Thursday, he’s expected to direct U.S. agencies to exercise the Defense Production Act, allowing them to order companies to pivot to production of things like syringes.
“It’s to make sure we have the material we need to get these vaccinations into arms around the country.”
So far, more than 16-million COVID-19 vaccinations have been given to Americans with close to 36-million doses distributed to states.