Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said the Trump administration left a “vague” plan for coronavirus vaccine distribution — as he defended Vice President Kamala Harris’ claims that President Biden’s team had to “start from scratch” when it entered office.
Harris made the claim on “Axios on HBO” last Sunday evening, and the infectious diseases expert was asked about the remark this week during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Anchor Chris Wallace asked: “Is that true?”
“The one thing that we can say is that the infrastructure and the capability in the planning of getting the vaccines distributed into the arms of people was really quite vague, as I’ve said before. I mean, obviously it wasn’t that nothing was done because we developed the vaccine, we got them manufactured and they were shipped,” Fauci said.
He said critics should give Harris “a break” because she didn’t “mean from scratch.”
“I mean, obviously, we had vaccines that we were giving to people, even before the end of the year. So what she was referring to and I’m sure you can ask her again that she’ll say it was the process of smoothly getting it into people’s arms, which was a difficulty, very early on, we’re just getting over that right now,” Fauci continued.
Since taking office, Fauci said Biden has been trying to expand distribution of the vaccine by getting it to community centers, pharmacies and to mobile units as well as enlisting health-care workers to get the shots in people’s arms.
“I believe the vice president was referring to the fact that if you’re talking about those things that I just mentioned, they were not in place when the president came in following the inauguration,” Fauci said.
In his remarks at a Pfizer manufacturing site in Michigan on Friday, Biden also pointed fingers at his predecessor.
“Just over four weeks ago, America had no real plan to vaccinate most of the country. My predecessor — as my mother would say, ‘God love him’ — failed to order enough vaccines, failed to mobilize the effort to administer the shots, failed to set up vaccine centers. That changed the moment we took office,” he said.