I wrote last week on how CNN had filed a supposedly blockbuster report on how numerous officials in the Biden administration were claiming that the Trump administration left them with no vaccine rollout plan.
CNN’s M.J. Lee cited sources – all of them unnamed – who told her the Biden team would have to start “from square one.” Those same officials also stated, without evidence, that allegedly inheriting no vaccine rollout plan from the Trump administration “was just further affirmation of complete incompetence” on the part of former Trump officials.
Biden and other administration officials have also gone on record making similar claims.
Considering the vaccine rollout has been ongoing for over a month or so now, the problems with the “report” were obvious from the start, so much so that even anti-Trump CNN anchor Chris Cuomo called B.S. on it, contradicting his own network during an interview with Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Fauci, who emerged as a media darling last year as “news” networks and Democrats worked to undermine public confidence in the vaccine, also pushed back on the claims.
In addition to that, former Operation Warp Speed staffers went on record almost immediately after the report was published, stating they had over 300 transition meetings with the incoming Biden team on the Trump team’s vaccine rollout plan.
Fast forward a week since CNN ran with the Biden admin’s allegations and we have a new report – this time from Bloomberg News – that nukes their claims that there was no rollout plan for them to work off of (bolded emphasis added):
Biden has said vaccine distribution was in “worse shape than we anticipated.” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said a Trump administration plan “did not really exist.” Adviser Cedric Richmond said they “didn’t leave a plan.” Xavier Becerra, Biden’s choice for health secretary, said it was like taking over a plane in a nosedive.
But while Biden’s approach to the virus — frank warnings about the pandemic, mask mandates on federal property — is a reversal from Trump’s policies, his administration’s distribution of vaccines so far looks little different from that of its predecessor. Before Biden was sworn in, vaccines already were being delivered at a pace to meet his goal of 100 million doses in his first 100 days as president.
The Biden administration has said they’ll order new doses, but will do so by exercising options in contracts negotiated by the previous administration, which thought it premature to do so. They say they’ll use the Defense Production Act, which Trump used repeatedly. Rather than a total overhaul, they have otherwise made course corrections and modest shifts.
Pillar of Biden response is DPA. Trump admin used it 18 times for vaccines. https://t.co/9lpqEDbUg5
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 29, 2021
In other words, CNN’s “report” – which no doubt alarmed the people who read it at a time when there is a rush on getting vaccinated in hopes the country can return to some sense of normalcy – was fake news.
Why was this report planted in the first place? I think the answers are obvious. The Biden administration wanted to have it both ways on the vaccine rollout. By claiming there was “no” rollout plan left to them, they could claim that any bumps in the road incurred in the coming weeks on the vaccine front were due to them having to “start from scratch” (which, in reality, they did not have to do). By the same token, if things end up running fairly smoothly in the coming weeks, the Biden adminstration would be credited for getting a “flawless” rollout plan off and running in record time.
Why did CNN run with such an obviously flawed report? Well, I hate to sound like a broken record here, but that, too, should be pretty obvious. Considering how they were covering (for) Biden well before he was inaugurated, it only makes sense that they hit the ground running with the claims from the anonymous officials, and likely for the same reasons they story was planted in the first place.