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President Biden’s administration claims it inherited a disastrous vaccine rollout. CNN posits that Biden is inheriting a “nonexistent coronavirus vaccine plan.” Biden himself called the vaccine rollout a “dismal failure” and set a “lofty” goal of distributing 100 million doses in 100 days. Fourth-grade math reveals Biden’s cure for Trump’s “disastrous” vaccine rollout is to average administration of 1 million each day of his first 100 days. Biden’s problem, though, is that he told Americans that he would be better than, not the same as, Trump. So how will he and the media wiggle out from that problem?
It starts with adjusting expectations. To make Biden’s plan appear impressive, on her first full day in office, the White House Press Secretary Psaki displayed an incredible level of dishonesty in quantifying the current status of Trump’s rollout. She claimed that, out of 36 million doses, only 17 million shots were administered in 38 days, or “about less than 500,000 shots a day.” Biden proposes to “double that to about 1 million shots per day” with an “ambitious” and “bold” plan.
As already analyzed by American Thinker, Biden’s narrative is patently false. Trump reached 1,000,000 doses per day as the rollout ramped up, with a 7-day average of 950,000 doses per day by the time he left office. One day even exceeded Biden’s “ambitious” and “bold” goal.
Much credit goes to Zeke Miller, the lone AP reporter who can do 4th-grade math and was critical of Biden. He asked Biden if the vaccination goal was “high enough,” since that’s “basically where the US is right now.” Biden brushed off this AP reporter, saying “When I announced it you all said it wasn’t possible. Come on, give me a break, man.”
The New York Times gave Biden that break. Rather than launching a full-on assault on the White House Press Secretary for lying and on Biden for endangering Americans by low-balling the vaccine rollout goal, the Times published an opinion piece gently asking Biden to increase vaccine administration to 2 million doses per day. Perhaps this soft push from the media worked, or maybe it was the public’s realization that the rolling-average already reached 1.25 million doses per day. In any event, Biden raised the goal to 1.5 million shots per day.
The manufactured crisis of Trump’s “disastrous” vaccine rollout presents real risks to American’s health and highlights the importance of both an impartial press and federalism. First, no one is asking why the “100 million doses in 100 days” was the goal to begin with. With a 2-dose vaccine, this goal provides immunity for an extra 50 million people.
Depending on what percentage of the population is required for herd immunity, which the now-liberated Fauci claims is based on public-opinion polling data, the extra vaccinations in Biden’s 100/100 plan only gets America to ~25% immunity. To reach Fauci’s current herd immunity goalpost of 85%, we would need immunity for another 200 million Americans.
To get herd immunity in the next 6 months (a lofty goal on par with “crushing” the virus), we would need to administer 2+ million doses per day of the current 2-dose vaccines. Given that staggering number, it may turn out there is not much that this administration can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months – hence, the lies about Trump’s accomplishments to make Biden’s identical goal look good.
The press, of course, will provide cover for Biden. This is bad for America because we need to be able to look critically at the administration in charge, whether Democrat, Republican, or even Libertarian, and hold it accountable. An informed populace is foundational to the health of self-government. On its current trajectory, the media will almost certainly cover for Biden if he fails, just as it admitted to his failed performance during the Swine Flu pandemic only long after the fact.
Biden is choosing to rely on Trump’s vaccine roll-out plan because it requires nothing from him. As long as he meets or even slightly exceeds what Trump did, he will be canonized. This will confirm Americans picked correctly last November and that dissenters are deplorable.
Perhaps another explanation for Biden’s low-ball goal – meeting Trump’s accomplishments, rather than exceeding them — is to provide cover for not putting America first. One risk to Biden’s goal is ongoing supply chain problems. If private industry can alleviate this scarcity, Biden can meet his deceptively low-ball goal, claim victory, and allocate any excess materials in the supply chain to distribute the vaccine internationally, rather than allowing the US to reach its full potential of vaccine distribution in the country that developed the vaccine in record time. Because he will be meeting his goal, no one will question his sending the vaccine beyond America’s borders. There are arguments for and against “vaccine nationalism.” But it is dishonest to lie about the predecessor’s rollout to avoid having debate by an informed populace.
For Federalism, the states are meant to be individual laboratories. In analyzing the different state laboratories, we can see that North Dakota has the highest vaccine distribution rate (86.73%), whereas Kansas has administered only 44.44% of the vaccines it was distributed. The national average is 54.89%.
If we have one top-down strategy that all states must follow (as Biden promotes), we rob ourselves of the lessons learned from the various states. Using harder than 4th-grader math reveals five states that are statistically significant when it comes to vaccine administration: North Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico, South Dakota, and South Carolina were all above a 67% administration rate. These states thus fall outside of an expected random distribution of administration rates, based on a statistical analysis of the data from the 50 states.
How good would you feel if the nation had an equally bad performance mandated from on high, with all states administrating doses as “well” as Kansas? The likely answer is pretty ambivalent. There would be nothing else to compare it to except other countries that implemented different vaccine rollout strategies and procedures. And that, of course, is what Joe Biden is promising for America.
The fact is that Trump’s regulatory changes helped get a vaccine to market in record time and his federalist approach helped get those vaccines to people in need in equally record time. Joe Biden can build on this and do better, or he can lie about what the Trump administration did and then, building on this law, congratulate himself for meeting the same metrics as the Trump administration.