UPDATED 11:04 AM PT – Tuesday, February 16, 2021
The Biden administration, Kamala Harris and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki have all claimed they had to start from scratch with their federal vaccine distribution plan.
However, a plan known as Operation Warp Speed sought to get as many vaccines delivered as quickly as possible to locations chosen by individual states. Harris claimed this somehow isn’t a plan because she thinks state and local leaders are incapable of figuring out a plan.
“No stockpile…there was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations,” claimed the vice president. “We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out, so in many ways we are starting from scratch.”
.@VP told @mikeallen that “there was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations” and that Biden admin was “starting from scratch.” That’s wrong. The Trump admin had a plan to distribute to locations chosen by states and let them take it from there. https://t.co/0MoQ8OnpoN pic.twitter.com/nYb8r5gPKz
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) February 15, 2021
Republicans typically favor states rights, which is why the Trump administration focused its resources on providing an abundant amount of vaccines to each state based on capacity and letting the states tailor a distribution plan specifically based on unique features of the state.
The Biden administration is more in favor of a one size fits all vaccine distribution plan; one where people have to go through an extensive process of signing up for a vaccine and waiting for the state to notify you when you are eligible to get the shot.
Democrat states like California have been operating based on the Biden administrations vaccination plan and the initial results have been problematic to say the least. Complicated data systems in the Golden State have left health officials in the dark about how many vaccines have been administered. This issued coupled with efforts to create a highly specified order of individuals who could receive the vaccine has resulted in California having one of the weakest vaccine roll-outs in the country.
One large state who has seen more success in vaccinations has been the Republican state of Florida, which has administered more vaccines per capita than any of the four other largest states in the country: Texas, California, and New York. Florida has also succeeded in getting people over the age of 65 vaccinated in record numbers by allowing anyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine to do so per CDC guidelines.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has even started eying the possibility of moving on to the next phases of vaccine distribution.
“Obviously there are people that are 63 and 64 that would definitely want it, and I know there are a lot of different occupations that have asked,” explained the Republican. “So we want to do that as soon as we can, but we gotta do seniors first, keep our eye on the ball.”
States like California have made frontline health care workers first priority vaccine recipients. However, 17 percent of the states frontline health care workers have refused to get the vaccine either because they are young with no pre-existing conditions or because they don’t want to take the vaccine.
As a result many of those vaccines have experienced severe delays, contrary to Florida’s first come first serve system where anyone eligible to receive a vaccine who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine.
So while the Harris claims they have to start from scratch, they really just mean they have to create a central government “one size fits all” vaccination plan with plenty of bureaucratic obstacles that keep vaccines from being administered in an efficient manner.