Officials in Biden’s new administration prepared the country for ongoing difficulties in the days following the inauguration. The president-elect took control of a troubled economy and a rapid coronavirus outbreak in less than three days.
Ron Klain, the new chief of staff to the President-elect of the White House, Joseph R. Biden Jr., had a poor prognosis for the course of the coronavirus outbreak in the first few weeks of the new administration, predicting half a million Americans will experience the aftermath of the Coronavirus will have died by the end of February. The current toll is 400,000.
“The virus will get worse before it gets better,” Klain said in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. “People who contract the virus today will get sick next month and will increase the death toll in late February, even March. So it will be a while before that changes.”
The average daily deaths in the United States from the virus have risen to well over 3,000, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sounded the alarm over a fast-spreading, far more contagious variant of the coronavirus, of which the official project is the dominant source of infection will be the country by March, potentially leading to another wave of cases and deaths.
In comments aimed at states’ disappointment that there was no reserve of additional vaccines that the Trump administration had promised to release, he said his team was “a big mess” over the manufacture and distribution of vaccines have inherited.
“But we have a plan to fix the problem,” said Klain, referring to a federal vaccination campaign that Mr Biden announced on Friday. “We believe there are a few things we can do to speed up the delivery of this vaccine.”
He particularly criticized President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, who had served as “Ebola Tsar” under President Barack Obama during an outbreak of the deadly disease in his second term. A video of Mr Klain briefing Mr Trump about the pandemic was circulated widely during the campaign.
Trump administration officials last week urged states to relax eligibility criteria and begin vaccinating all Americans aged 65 and over. Some states, including New York, were quick to respond, creating interest and confusion as thousands of newly admitted people searched for dates to get vaccinated.
However, it found that there was no supply of extra doses of vaccine waiting to be distributed to these states – just the amounts already promised, much of which would be given as a second dose to people who had already received their first doses .
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that he too had tried to clear up the confusion about how many doses were held by the federal government and where they were going.
“I think there was just a misunderstanding,” said Dr. Fauci on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “When the doses were released, an equal amount was withheld to ensure that those who received their first doses were clearly getting their second doses if there was any disruption in the flow of supply,” he said.
When it was clear that the vaccine production would be reliable, he added, “The decision was made rather than just giving enough for the first dose and holding back for the second dose that once she received the available doses, she would give it because now they would have confidence that the next amount they would get. “
Brian Deese, the new head of the National Economic Council, also stressed the urgency of approving a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus plan that the new administration in Biden unveiled last week to aid the recovery effort, citing Data suggesting rising unemployment and more Americans going hungry.
“The truth is, we are at a very precarious moment,” Deese said in an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “We have an acute economic crisis and a human crisis and we need decisive action.”