The Trump administration’s failure to develop a plan to administer the coronavirus vaccine is a “level of incompetence I have to say I am stunned by.” That’s the opinion of Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.
“The administration has … decided that their job essentially ends when the vaccine gets to the state and there’s nothing more to do,” Jha said during an appearance on CNN. “We should have set up vaccination centers. It’s not like we had no idea that vaccines were coming, we have known for months that this was going to happen and there was no planning for that last mile.”
The Trump administration should have learned from its early failures to procure sufficient COVID-19 testing kits that it needed to plan ahead. “We did this with testing, we did this with PPE, but I thought we were going to get it better with vaccines and it doesn’t feel like we are, and now states are going to have to figure this out,” he said.
Meanwhile, some states that have developed plans for vaccinating residents are ignoring federal guidance on who should be given priority. The Washington Post is reporting that Texas, Florida and some other Republican-led states have decided not to provide shots for front-line workers and instead are putting the elderly to the front of the line. In Florida there have been reports of seniors lining up at 4:00 a.m. and having to wait hours in their cars to receive their shots.
In remarks he delivered after receiving his vaccine injection last week, Vice President Mike Pence continued to spout the administration line that 20 million Americans would be vaccinated by the end of 2020. Clearly that’s an impossibility since barely two million people have received shots thus far. While the vaccine rollout has been stumbling badly Pence, who is in charge of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and responsible for getting the nationwide vaccination program underway, has been on a skiing vacation in Vail, Colo.
For his part Trump confirmed his abdication of responsibility in a pair of tweets.
You can watch Dr. Jha’s interview below, courtesy of CNN.