Dr. Rick Bright criticized the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. on Wednesday, calling the process a “failure” and suggesting the federal government had misled Americans.
Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s Coronavirus Task Force, told CNN’s New Day that more than one vaccine would be needed in the long term.
“Right now we need to focus on the vaccines we have authorized in the United States, in scaling up production of those, in getting those vaccines distributed,” Bright said.
Bright was asked about the present pace of the vaccine rollout, which Biden criticized on Tuesday.
“What this reveals is a failure to plan,” Bright said. “A failure to have a national strategy to vaccinate individuals across the country, a failure to communicate, a failure to coordinate, a failure to be honest and transparent with Americans about the complexities and the timelines for this vaccine.”
“All of that erodes trust. It erodes the confidence people have in the entire system, let alone in the vaccine. We have a lot of work to do,” Bright said.
“What this reveals is…a failure to have a national strategy to vaccinate individuals across the country…and a failure to be honest and transparent with Americans,” Rick Bright, a member of Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, says about slower-than-promised US vaccinations. pic.twitter.com/K2H2AEzazz
President Donald Trump tweeted about the vaccine rollout on Wednesday, suggesting that task now fell to individual state governments rather than to a national approach.
“The Federal Government has distributed the vaccines to the states. Now it is up to the states to administer. Get moving!” Trump wrote.
Biden criticized the slower-than-expected distribution of the vaccine on Tuesday, arguing it is “is falling behind, far behind.”
“A few weeks ago the Trump administration suggested that 20 million Americans could be vaccinated by the end of December,” Biden said. “With only a few days left in December, we have only vaccinated a few million so far.”
Trump’s Wednesday vaccine tweet is reminiscent of his attitude toward personal protective equipment (PPE) in the earlier stages of the pandemic. Several governors, including Republicans, complained about a lack of federal coordination on PPE, while Trump asserted there were no problems with supply.
On March 22, Trump criticized Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and “a very small group of certain other Governors” who “shouldn’t be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings. We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be!”
Pritzker responded to the president’s tweet, saying, in part: “Where were the tests when we needed them? Where’s the PPE? Get off Twitter & do your job.”
- Column: Why rush teachers and students back into classrooms now, CPS? Widespread COVID-19 vaccination is on the horizon. [https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/heidi-stevens/ct-heidi-stevens-cps-return-to-school-covid-surge-1230-20201230-thr2ct2cjzgztomb3ebgy4helq-story.html]
- Isko warns against illegal vaccines [https://manilastandard.net/lgu/ncr/343313/isko-warns-against-illegal-vaccines.html]
- ‘A level of incompetence I am stunned by’: Doctor buries Trump’s lack of planning for vaccine distribution [https://www.rawstory.com/trump-vaccine-2649698007/]
- In Greece, ‘vaccination selfies’ anger unions, opposition [https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2020/12/30/in-greece-vaccination-selfies-anger-unions-opposition.html]