The Biden administration is not interested in giving credit where its due, apparently; especially, it seems, as it concerns the plan to rollout coronavirus vaccines in a plan developed under the Trump administration through Operation Warp Speed.
According to a report from National Review, Team Biden has been insisting through press conferences and administration talking heads that there was no vaccine plan to speak of when they entered the Oval Office, and they’ve been forced to start from scratch to achieve their goal of vaccinating 100 million people in 100 days.
Last week, CNN White House correspondent MJ Lee published a story titled “Biden inheriting nonexistent coronavirus vaccine distribution plan and must start ‘from scratch,’ sources say.” It included quotes from anonymous Biden administration officials saying things like “there is nothing for us to rework” and that they were starting from “square one.” Though Dr. Anthony Fauci has publicly refuted the claim, Biden officials have continued to imply it.
“The sad part is the last administration didn’t leave anything. They didn’t leave a plan,” Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond told CNN on Saturday. On Meet the Press, Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said “the process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House.”
To their credit, Operation Warp Speed staffers have pushed back on this claim, saying they had in the area of 300 transition meetings with Team Biden to get the incoming administration prepared to meet their vaccination goals; something that, based on daily data, the Biden administration is currently on pace to meet.
[P]er vaccination data from Bloomberg, the U.S. has now hit 1 million vaccinations for four days in a row, with a rolling seven-day average of 1.2 million. And on Monday, Biden himself said he hoped to raise the threshold to 1.5 million soon.
The new administration’s ability to hit its daily target immediately after the benchmark was set is evidence that they inherited a workable plan from the Trump administration, according to current and former officials.
“We provided the Biden team over 300 transition meetings, including the very first one on Warp Speed which I kicked off myself,” former Health and Human Services chief of staff Brian Harrison told National Review. “The idea that they’re walking in, having no clue what was going on, is absolutely preposterous.”
Operation Warp Speed staffers say the narrative Team Biden is building is little more than an attempt to pass the buck and lower expectations, ultimately “playing politics with public health.”
“They’re shifting blame. That’s the most polite way I could describe it. But I’ll tell you that the guys at Warp Speed were pushing the CDC really hard to basically demonstrate that the plans were more than just paper,” the official said. “They pushed them as hard as they could, but again, CDC was strident in its view that they’re the experts. They’re the ones with the relationships with the states. They’re the ones who could do this and that.”
“It’s disgraceful that the CDC is pointing its finger at Warp Speed, when CDC was the one that said that they were in charge and basically said they were the one responsible party,” he continued. “It’s passing the buck, and I just think that’s disgraceful.”
If Operation Warp Speed staffers are telling the truth, there’s little integrity in what Team Biden is attempting to do as the nation moves into a year of lockdowns, fear, and economic uncertainty over a virus that is now able to be efficiently combatted if only vaccines can be distributed. One wonders what else the Biden administration will attempt to deny the American people in order to make the petty case that the Trump administration isn’t deserving of credit for things they, in fact, accomplished rather effectively.
Final thought: Biden has received his vaccination. If he takes the canard of “no plan” a step further and actually withholds vaccines to average Americans to make a political point, the public should let the administration know exactly what they think of that.