President-elect Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he would ensure 100 million Americans are vaccinated in 100 days. However, President Donald Trump is making that really difficult.
Biden made the promise ahead of announcing the members of his health team in Wilmington, Delaware. It was also revealed this week that Trump could have ordered even more vaccines from Pfizer if they could prove that the vaccine was approved and viable. In fact, Trump was asked if he wanted an additional 100 million vaccines multiple times and multiple times, he turned the vaccines down.
"Pfizer did offer an additional allotment coming out of the plant," Trump's former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC. "Basically a second-quarter allotment to the United States government. Multiple times. And as recently as after the interim data came out and looked to be promising. I think that they're betting more than one vaccine will get authorized and there will be more on the market. That could be why they didn't take up that additional 100 million option agreement. Which really wouldn't have required them to front money."
At Trump's vaccine summit Tuesday, he signed an executive order stating that the United States would get the vaccine first before the U.S. helps any other country be vaccinated. The problem, however, is that the opposite is now true. Most other countries are getting the vaccine first because Trump messed up.
In an interview with "Goodmorning America," Chief Science Adviser for Operation Warp Speed Dr. Moncef Slaoui was asked about the conflicting reports, but he didn't have any answers.
"Frankly, I don't know," Slaoui said. "Frankly, I'm staying out of this. So, I can't comment."
GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked to clarify, "You don't know? But you're the chief science adviser for Operation Warp Speed."
It didn't change Dr. Slaoui's answer: "I don't know exactly what this order is about."
Biden COVID-19 advisory board member, Loyce Pace, confessed that no one on the Biden team has any idea what Trump is talking about either.
"We have been wanting to dig deeply into the plans and have a better understanding of where the current administration is," Pace said. "And the doors are finally open, and we can start looking at those. As of now, we don't have a full or clear picture of what is set to take place over the next two weeks. That is our goal to have that information sooner than later."
For several weeks Trump's administration has blocked access to the administration as part of the official presidential transition.
"A couple of things," began former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "You have to understand is that the government did not have to put forward money unless the vaccine was safe and effective. This wasn't like he had to buy something and then you have to throw it all away. If it didn't work -- this was a contingency financing. To turn down an additional 100 million doses and sign an order that means nothing. It doesn't overturn contracts that pharmaceutical companies have with countries and the world. You get in line behind the contracts. I don't care how many pieces of paper the president now signs, it doesn't change the reality that we have some doses coming from Pfizer, but not nearly enough."
While 100 million doses is certainly a large number, America has over 330 million people who will need the vaccine.
"To have that extra doses would save potentially thousands and thousands of Americans," Sebelius explained.
See the interview with Sebelius below: