Joe Biden is fearmongering that “more people may die,” because Team Trump hasn’t begun shifting oversight over COVID-19 vaccines to Team Biden: “There was a plan for 300 million doses to be available at the end of the year. What they’re reporting now is 20 to 30 million doses available. Why? Where’s the bottleneck?”
Biden mixed up the numbers — again. Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, predicts 20 million doses will be shipped out on Dec. 11 and 12 — and immediately administered to health workers and other high-risk groups in all 50 states.
Tens of millions more doses will be delivered according to a precision plan in the following months, with delivery sites already designated by each state’s health department. By May, Slaoui predicts, enough Americans will have been vaccinated to create herd immunity, allowing the nation to get back to normal — a historic triumph.
Provided politics doesn’t blow it up, that is.
Biden’s advisers have dangerous ideas about who should get vaccinated first. Already, groups like the corrupt World Health Organization are objecting that the United States has purchased hundreds of millions of doses, putting Americans ahead of others. WHO wants every country to get a vaccine supply based on its population, sending 2 percent to each country, then ramping up eventually to 20 percent. That would doom America to more suffering, because herd immunity requires about a 70 percent vaccination rate.
What’s scary is that Biden advisers buy into this globalist mentality. God help us if they interfere with Warp Speed.
Biden’s COVID adviser, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, slams “vaccine nationalism,” calling it unethical that the rich countries developing vaccines get first dibs. Emanuel, a member of several WHO advisory groups, proposes in the journal Science a vaccine-distribution model whose effect would be to prioritize poor countries with younger populations first, because vaccinating an elderly person saves fewer life years than vaccinating a younger person.
On Monday, Biden said he will nominate arch-globalist Antony Blinken as secretary of state. Blinken decries America First and is pushing to rejoin WHO immediately. Biden and Blinken are ignoring that WHO concealed the virus outbreak in Wuhan and shilled for the Chinese Communist Party, allowing the disease to spread and kill millions.
As for who gets vaccinated, the American public paid to be first. The Trump administration used taxpayer cash to prepay for millions of doses of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna before they were approved. That reduced the development risk for those companies and ensured priority access. Several European nations took similar steps.
That’s doesn’t mean the rest of the world shouldn’t be helped. AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which announced positive results for their vaccine on Monday, plan to distribute it across the Third World at no profit, for as little as $3 to $5 a dose, and to enlist many manufacturers to do the same. The vaccine requires no refrigeration, a big plus for global distribution.
Meanwhile, the best Americans can hope for is that Biden and his political appointees don’t meddle in this nation’s vaccine plan.
Unfortunately, Biden’s liberal COVID-19 advisory board has other ideas.
Dr. Michael Osterholm has trouble with the idea that the military will help distribute the highly perishable vaccine. Dr. Céline Gounder, a New York University global-health professor and Biden adviser, says Operation Warp Speed needs to be overhauled to put more emphasis on things other than vaccines, including testing and “providing political backing” to local governments to “support things that might be unpopular.” Translation: shutdowns. That’s crazy. Vaccines will make these draconian options unnecessary.
Though the Trump administration conceived and launched Operation Warp Speed, Slaoui explains that the vaccine rollout has been done totally “isolated from the [Trump] administration, from the political environment and political context.” He added: “no political interference, no bureaucracy, no red tape.” He hopes that will continue after the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Responding to Biden’s demagoguery about a the transition delay costing lives, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar reassured the nation on Sunday that “the career people” from the Defense Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention running Warp Speed on Jan. 19 are going to be the same people on Jan. 21.
Message to Biden: Hands off this medical miracle.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.