President-elect Joe Biden has said he’ll get “at least 100 million COVID vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” during his first 100 days. But before his term begins, some advisers are reportedly worried this promise will ultimately be broken.
Biden has “grown frustrated with the team in charge of plotting his coronavirus response” as there is increasing concern among some of his advisers that the 100 million vaccinations in 100 days goal won’t be met, Politico reported on Monday.
“While some Biden advisers insist it’s possible to make good on the 100-million vow, others are privately worried that the federal response is already so chaotic that it will take a herculean effort to pull it off,” according to the report.
Biden reportedly confronted COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients and his deputy to tell them “their team was underperforming,” Politico says. Transition officials blame a “lack of long-term planning” by the Trump administration, which didn’t come close to meeting its goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans by the end of 2020, as the vaccine rollout got off to a far slower-than-expected start in the United States.
“They’re inheriting a mess,” former Obama administration acting Medicare and Medicaid chief Andy Slavitt told Politico. “I think they’re uncovering how bad it is.”
Biden, Politico notes, has suggested that whether the 100 million vaccinations goal is reached will be dependent on further COVID-19 relief legislation, previously saying “if Congress provides” additional funding for state and local governments, “we’d be able to meet this incredible goal.” But Politico writes that some in the transition are “questioning whether Biden’s first big pandemic pledge placed too much confidence” in the Trump administration, and allies are warning transition officials about “the overriding political consequences of breaking one of Biden’s first major promises.” Read more at Politico.