Biden: “Trump blundered, I’m saving the day”

In fact, Operation Warp Speed was much more than fast vaccine R&D. Biden’s claims are, at best, disingenuous.
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Biden frequently makes 2 related Covid-specific claims:

1. “There were no vaccines available when I took office and not enough to vaccinate America.”

2. “The Trump administration didn’t have a plan for getting people vaccinated.  We had to start from completely from scratch.”

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The first claim —  not enough vaccine ordered — is indisputably false

Let’s start with the pre-approval vaccine commitments made mid-2020.

As part of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration entered into contracts with multiple drugmakers … while their potential vaccines were still in clinical trials.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Moderna: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • J&J: 100 million doses (one-dose regimen)
  • AstraZeneca: 300 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Novavax: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Sanofi-GSK: 100 million doses (one- or two-dose regimen)

In all, the amounts agreed to under these pre-commitment contracts totaled about 800 million vaccine doses, or enough for more than 450 million people. Source

The Pfizer vaccine was approved on December 11, 2020.

Roughly 2 weeks later, on December 23. 2020, HHS signed an agreement with Pfizer for an additional  100 million doses … with options to purchase an additional 400 Million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Source

So, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed delivered to the Biden administration orders and options for 600 million doses of just the Pfizer vaccine — enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans.

Add in just the pre-commitments to Moderna and J&J and the total swells to 800 million doses — enough to vaccinate 450 million people.

By inauguration day, almost 40 million doses had already been distributed to the states and the daily vaccination rate was passing through the 1 million shots per day mark.

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Since inauguration day, an average of about 1.6 million shots have been administered daily — a function of increased supplies (from manufacturers) and improved coverage and efficiency.

The supply flows have continued to increase.

How much of that is attributable to Team Biden’s claimed magic touch and how much of that is simply implementation ramp-up of Trump’s OWS plan?

That’s a question which naturally raises the second claim…

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So, is the second claim “no vaccination plan, starting from scratch” true?

While there may be some dispute about the depth and appropriateness of the Trump administration’s plan, there was one … and, by and large, it’s exactly the plan that Team Biden is implementing.

Let’s get specific…

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The Trump OWS Vaccine Distribution Plan

On September 16, 2020 HHS issued a press release stating that:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) today released two documents outlining the Trump Administration’s detailed strategy to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to the American people as quickly and reliably as possible.

The first of the documents referenced in the press release was:

That document, titled “From the Factory to the Frontlines”, outlined the overall strategy.

In a nutshell, the strategy was for the Federal government to pre-commit vaccines purchases before any vaccines were approved for use.

Upon authorization, the Federal government was to (1) order & acquire vaccines from manufacturers, (2) allocate doses to states and (3) physically distribute the vaccines using Private Sector Partners (PSPs) with cold-chain capabilities and an established network of pharmacies.

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Further, the strategy was predicated on the broad-based assumption that “local personnel have a better understanding of the unique vaccination needs, challenges and capabilities within their communities.”

Accordingly, state and local governments were tasked with vaccinating its residents, following a Federally developed “playbook” :

Specifically, states were charged with the responsibility to (1) certify vaccination PODs (Points of Distribution) within their jurisdictions; (2) sub-allocate vaccine doses to localities, (PHDs) Public Health Departments, hospitals and retail pharmacies; and (3) to manage vaccine distribution within their jurisdictions.

Each POD (e.g. public health site, hospital, retail pharmacy chain) was charged with developing the necessary customer-contact systems for scheduling appointments (for 1st and 2nd doses) … and for reporting vaccination information.

Note: It was anticipated that most PODs would be able to modify their existing customer vaccination systems to meet the Covid vaccination requirements.    

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There were written plans!

And, implementation against the plans was immediately initiated.

As a foundational step, the CDC engaged McKesson to be the “centralized distributor of COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supplies needed to administer vaccinations.”.

And, the CDC engaged Deloitte to develop a comprehensive vaccine management information system called VARMS (Vaccine Administration Management System):

VAMS was originally designed to help CDC and public health officials schedule, track, and report vaccinations for specific groups of essential workers during the first phase of the vaccine rollout.

The CDC later expanded the use of VAMS, offering it at no cost to states that did not have their own system in place for the initial phase of vaccinations.

On October 16, 2020, HHS announced announced “an agreements with CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) nationwide”:

All states (except West Virginia) participated in the LTCF Partnership.

Then, on December 2, 2020, HHS announced a retail pharmacy program to “help jurisdictions augment access to vaccine when supply increases and vaccine is recommended beyond the initial populations:

By the end of 2020, the vaccine distribution structure — a combination of Federal programs and state-local plans — was largely in place.

click for a full-size (printable) PDF
image

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Bottom line: Team Biden may take issue with the scope and implementation details in the plans, but there was (1) an overall strategy, (2) a phased implementation plan, and (3) agreements in place with manufacturers, distributors (e.g. McKesson), state governments and retail pharmacies.

By and large, Team Biden has just been executing the Trump administration’s strategy, and riding the implementation ramp-up with a couple of executional tweaks.

So, for Biden’s claims of no plan, not enough vaccine are, in his words, pure malarkey.

One Response to “Biden: “Trump blundered, I’m saving the day””

  1. Even the MSM is debunking Biden’s claim of “no vaccine plan”… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] Biden: “Trump blundered, I’m saving the day” […]

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