In hindsight, when Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said Pfizer has not been able to produce as many doses of their coronavirus vaccine as they expected to, I should not have taken that at face value.
State governments are saying they've been afforded significantly fewer doses than they expected, but what's really happening? Is Pfizer to blame?
Oregon’s allotment of Pfizer doses for next week was cut by 40%, Governor Kate Brown said in a tweet Thursday evening. Washington state had been expecting more than 74,000 doses of the shot for next week, but was informed by Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. vaccine-development program, that the state would receive 44,850 instead.
“This was a federal decision,” Brown wrote about her state’s cut in a separate tweet, “and I am seeking answers from the CDC about the reliability of the data we are receiving from week-to-week as Oregon builds our vaccine distribution plan.”
For their part, Pfizer says they've produced doses that are sitting in a warehouse waiting for direction from the federal government.
Pfizer said in the Thursday statement that the company was "not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine" and that "no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed."
"This week we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the US Government to the locations specified by them," the statement added.
"We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse, but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses."
So, the simplest and most likely explanation here is that the Trump regime has fucked this up just as we all knew they would.
But is this merely incompetence, or is it malevolence?
I honestly don't know, but the list of states receiving about half as many doses as they expected includes Oregon, Illinois, Washington, California, Georgia, Hawaii, and Nevada. All of those states voted against Trump. And maybe this is a conspiracy theory, but someone is lying here and it's probably not Pfizer or the governors of these states.
I don't believe Pfizer is lying because that would actually be criminal to company shareholders.