Rudy Giuliani’s press conference and slap scandal, unsuccessful lawsuits can be seen as a political spectacle, but President Donald Trump’s refusal and refusal to initiate the government’s orderly transition is no laughing matter. With the epidemic spreading from the control and record numbers of people in control of Kovid-19 each day, a rugged arm from one administration to another will likely hit people.
With the epidemic spiraling out of control, a rugged arm from one administration to another will likely kill people.
This is particularly true given the timing of this transfer of power. At the very moment the presidential-election that will take over the reins of the Biden government, the federal government will be in the early stages of implementing the most complex, most expensive and most important mass vaccination program in our country’s history. On Monday, the General Services Administration indicated that it is ready to begin a formal transition process. There is no moment to lose.
A competent president would have beaten the coronovirus by now. Our current crisis is the creation of the Trump administration. His denial for national testing, tracing and quarantine systems, his regular attacks on masks and social disturbances, and his inability to cope with equipment and lack of funds ruined the United States’ attempt to Kovid-19 response.
And now, it seems that we are in the midst of a disastrous third wave of viruses (though the US never really got to qualify at the end of the first wave until the low number of daily waves).
One of the few glimpses expected are positive results from recent Kovid-19 vaccine trials. Modern preliminary data suggests that its vaccine candidate is 94 percent effective. Pfizer’s initial data is similarly strong. And we will see the possibility of additional vaccine candidates emerging in the coming weeks and months. On Monday, AstraZeneca said its Kovid-19 vaccine could be up to 90 percent effective.
But vaccines do not protect people; Let’s vaccinate. And the effort to ensure that every person in America is vaccinated, as soon as possible, is a logical project on par with anything compared to the American health care system. Trump’s teams at the Centers for Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health have begun developing and implementing the system, but it barely lasts until January 20 and means it should have a Trump Transition devoid of responsibility from Kee’s team to Biden’s team. And yet for weeks, Trump’s team refused to allow Biden’s transition team access to the plan. Hopefully, the GSA announcement means it will change. But we cannot assume that this will happen.
The effort to ensure that every person in America is vaccinated as soon as possible is a logistic project that the American health care system has ever completed.
As leaders of Operation Tana Pace, a coalition of federal agencies overseeing the plan for vaccine delivery, told the Senate last week, Trump had barred him from communicating with the Biden-Harris infection team. Why? Because of Trump’s petulus crusade against reality. In fact, Trump is still refusing to accept the election results, hoping that desperate lawsuits and the stigmatization of local election officials would somehow allow him to continue in the position that he lost the election.
It is difficult to prevent such stonewalling hazards for an efficient vaccine delivery plan. Distributing a Kovid-19 vaccine would be a large-scale effort, which would require the response of the entire government. The federal government would likely have to manage the distribution of many different vaccines produced by different companies. Most of these vaccines require multiple doses and some require excessive cold storage. As more vaccines receive emergency approval, they will be added to the distribution. It is a project with countless moving troops that will carefully coordinate between the federal government, the states, the public health community, and health care partners.
The President-elect’s team was at risk of not being ready to implement the plan effectively by withholding the current distribution plan from the transition team. But we are far from wooden – because it is entirely possible that Trump’s plan is as unachievable as every other plan his team has prepared for its response to the epidemic. For example, nine months into this epidemic, health care providers still do not have enough personal protective equipment, as the president has been unable to plan together for the production and distribution of sufficient PPE. What if his plan for vaccine distribution for PPE production is as pathetic as his plan?
Biden is now required to read into the details of Trump’s plan, as major changes to the plan may be required. And after hearing directly from Operation Tana Speed’s top advisors on the vaccination plan, I can already see some of the major potential problems Biden may need to address.
First, the plan needs to clearly find out who is in charge of each stage. Right now, the vaccine distribution scheme creates confusion about whether the state or federal government is running the show. Currently, the CDC is leading teams to coordinate the distribution plans being established by the states. But, the federal government is also contracting with pharmacies to obtain direct vaccine allocation to help with distribution. There needs to be a clear demarcation between the role of the states and the federal government so that we do not fall into the same confusion we faced when trying to implement tests and PPE.
Second, we have to decide ahead of time who is going to pay for this large undertaking. Operation Tana pace officials told the Senate that the states did not require additional funds. Which is false. State public health officials wrote to Senate leadership last month requesting $ 8.4 billion for comprehensive vaccine delivery, which was provided more than $ 200 million nationwide by the CDC for the venture.
As it stands, the Operation Tana speed scheme is only for the transportation of vaccines to the states. It is unclear whether states, which are already cash-strapped due to the epidemic, will receive funding to hire the public health workers needed to oversee a program of this size, especially two-dose vaccines. For necessary follow-up or equip yourself with things like cold storage. Congress now needs to start planning for this funding so that states do not have to worry about saying that the money will not come after vaccination. The last thing we want is for states to have vaccines, but do not lack the necessary resources to deliver them effectively.
We have seen first-hand how Trump failed to manage significant supply flows to states in the early days of the epidemic. But duct tape, garbage bags and donation drives will not be able to fix a vaccination plan that falls short of a Trump interruption. Come January 20, the Biden administration is going to take office – whether Trump accepts that fact or not. But by refusing to immediately share the details of the vaccine delivery plan with the incoming administration, life may have already been lost.
The transition time begins in earnest. Any further delays, and even after the Americans leave the Oval Office, Trump will continue to pay the price for the total audacity of the Kovid-19.