Remember when Dr. Anthony Fauci was so upset at being quoted in a Trump campaign ad about the COVID-19 response? He insisted he was not a political actor and was offended that his own words about a response he was a key player in crafting were being used. Then he blew it in an extended Washington Post interview where he essentially endorsed then-candidate Biden.
Now, in an interview on the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Fauci said he is very concerned that the health experts have not yet been allowed to work with Team Biden. After discussing the very positive vaccination trial results from Moderna and Pfizer, Dr. Fauci projected that doses of vaccine for high-risk patients could be available in late December. Then the conversation shifted to politics:
Guthrie: Let’s talk about how this could work. We’re obviously in the middle of a transition between the Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration. How concerned are you that the White House has still not greenlighted the transition? So that folks in your side of things can be talking to the incoming Biden administration?
Fauci: Well Savannah, obviously it’s something that we’re concerned about. I mean as you know I’ve served in six administrations, so I’ve seen a number of transitions and I know that transitions are very important. To get a smooth, essentially as I use the metaphor, passing a baton without stopping running. I mean you just want things to go very smoothly. So hopefully we’ll see that soon. Transitions are important.
His concern seems misplaced since the vaccine is being distributed through the same process as the H1N1 vaccine used during the Obama-Biden administration. The CDC will determine vaccination priorities in the case of limited initial doses. It also does not appear that the NIH, where Dr. Fauci works, is involved at all.
According to the HHS, Operation Warp Speed is a partnership between HHS and the Department of Defense. The vaccine will be distributed by McKesson, using the CDC’s priority determination. It is hard to understand how this process would change under a Biden administration. It has been done before in the recent past, and there seems to be general agreement on which populations are at the highest risk. From the HHS:
On August 14, CDC executed an existing contract option with McKesson Corporation to support vaccine distribution. The company also distributed the H1N1 vaccine during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009-2010. The current contract with McKesson, awarded as part of a competitive bidding process in 2016, includes an option for the distribution of vaccines in the event of a pandemic.“
These comments regarding the need to transition now seem to be Fauci playing politics again. Perhaps this is because he knows that he will be given nearly carte blanche on his preferred policies in a Joe Biden administration. Biden has pledged to do what the scientists and experts tell him to do. He will be a mediocre bureaucrat’s dream boss.
There also seems to be a concerted effort to ensure that Operation Warp Speed gets no credit for the quick delivery of vaccines. Democrats and the corporate media can’t admit that an initiative driven by President Trump is a success. Their agenda is also not served by demonstrating that the private sector is superior to the government in delivering innovation quickly. The public-private partnership President Trump demanded has absolutely delivered.
Criticizing the distribution plan or implying it may not be done successfully is also an insult to the supply chain professionals within the DoD who have done an exceptional job throughout the pandemic, and will continue to do so no matter who is in the White House. If the transition begins, Biden officials will credit themselves for a plan that has already been established.
Truth be told, when your elderly loved ones receive a vaccine, you will have President Donald Trump to thank. Operation Warp Speed unleashed the innovation of the private sector to deal effectively with a public health crisis. This should be the model for the future, but it is unlikely to be under a President Biden.
WATCH the full interview:
“Now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective.”
Watch @SavannahGuthrie’s full interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the new coronavirus vaccine candidate results from Moderna, battling COVID fatigue, and the importance of a smooth White House transition. pic.twitter.com/mosSOEyMzo
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 16, 2020