Current Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, a Trump appointee, has painted a very rosy picture by claiming we'll have enough doses of various vaccines to cover 20 million people over the next two weeks and enough to cover the general public as soon as February, but I think we can say that's not going to happen.
I'm not an expert, of course, and none of us can look under the hood to see what's what, but officials who will still be in their positions after Joe Biden takes office are saying different things.
Pentagon officials are saying new tiers of the public will gain access to a vaccine at some point next summer, not as early as February.
The remarks by officials involved in the distribution effort came on a call hosted by the Association for Health Care Resource & Materials Management.
Army Col. Victor Suarez, a vaccine program manager at Operation Warp Speed, said on the call that “we want to make enough vaccine doses so that everybody who wants a vaccine in the United States can get a vaccine by this summer.”
“When vaccine becomes more plentiful in spring and summer, what you’re gonna see is more tiered groups opening up,” Suarez said at another point on the call, referring to the groups of people who the CDC has given priority to receive the vaccine, either due to the essential nature of their work or unique vulnerability to the virus.
The difference between Army Col. Victor Suarez and HHS Secretary Alex Azar is that Suarez is a career military official who will still be there next month. Azar will be gone.
In hindsight, I should have considered this before, but I have to wonder if Trump's appointees are intentionally misleading the public so they can blame the Biden administration when it takes longer than they claimed it would to vaccinate the public.
That's very cynical, but it's also entirely plausible. This is a regime that was privately telling health officials to intentionally infect kids and young adults. Azar is undoubtedly aware that what he's saying is bullshit because he has access to the same information as Suarez.