After confidently saying that Americans who want the vaccine can have it by spring, President Joe Biden flip flops on the subject. Now, his White Team is scrambling to get the right message out. Last Monday, President Biden said that any American who wants the coronavirus vaccine can get one by springtime.
“I think it will be this spring. I think we’ll be able to do that this spring. But it’s going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we’ve ever tried in this country. But I think we can do that,” said Biden last Monday. The president also looked forward to a better summer. “I feel confident by summer we’ll be well on our way towards herd immunity and increasing the access,” he said.
Taking Back the Message the Next Day
By Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki began rolling back on the optimism. “What the president’s goal is, is ensuring that there’s greater availability in the spring. But the fact is, every American is not going to be eligible this spring,” she clarified. The turnaround happened as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admitted that 100 days to complete vaccination won’t be possible. The new CDC head, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told Fox News that the president’s goal of vaccinating 100 million people in 100 days won’t contain the pandemic in 2021. “Yes, we have to go faster,” she said. But, she also admitted that many constraints will limit the administration’s capability, especially vaccine supply.
Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek Murphy also agreed that the vaccine goal of 100 million is on the low side. “That’s a floor, that’s not a ceiling, We’ve got to increase supply, which we can do using the Defense Production Act, but we have to set up distribution channels like mobile units that can reach people,” Murphy told ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.
Another Flip Flop
Then, last Friday, Biden said that “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.” Almost immediately, the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra tried to rectify the latest of Biden flip flops. “I believe President Biden made it very clear, the plane is in a nosedive, and we gotta pull it up. And you’re not going to do that overnight. But we’re gonna pull it up, we have to pull it up. Failure’s not an option here, and so we will,” Xaviera told CNN.
When prodded if the administration can indeed alter the pandemic’s trajectory, Becerra said it won’t happen overnight. But, he said that progress is possible if people work together. “We’ve got to make sure we’re coordinated. We can’t just tell the states, ‘Here’s some PPE, some masks, here are some vaccines, now go do it.’ No, no. When we hand them over, we stay with them and provide resources to make it happen,” he added.
A few weeks ago, Biden was more than happy to take a few shots at former President Donald Trump over his alleged misstatements on the coronavirus efforts. But now, the White House pandemic team had to scramble to clarify Biden’s flip flops.
Watch the Fox News video where host Peter Doocy grills Biden over his vaccine plan, messaging on COVID:
Regardless of the clarity on the President’s statements, do you agree that we can achieve herd immunity by 2021? Do you think the US can get over the coronavirus hump as early as this year? Let us know what you think by sharing your comments below.