Trump’s Operation Warp Speed Running Full Throttle
The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed is moving forward on distributing COVID-19 vaccines to accelerate the country’s recovery efforts and their plan is almost identical to what Joe Biden’s administration came forward with last week. Warp Speed officials stated Tuesday in a press briefing that they will rapidly increase the amount of vaccines available to states and jurisdictions, doing back with the current plan to hold back half of the available doses and reserve them for the second round of the double-dose immunizations. Members of Biden’s transition team announced a nearly identical plan last week, saying that the president-elect “supports releasing available doses immediately and believes the government should stop holding back vaccine supply so we can get more shots in Americans’ arms now.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that they had not discussed Warp Speed’s plan with the Biden administration. “While we will certainly brief the Biden team on those changes, we operate, as you know, with one government at a time,” Azar said. Along with distributing more vaccine doses, Azar said that he and his colleagues will command states to broaden the groups eligible to take the vaccines. They will now tell states to open vaccination to everyone age 65 and over and people under age 65 who have a documented underlying medical condition that makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
“In some states, heavy-handed micromanagement of this process has stood in the way of vaccines reaching a broader swath of the vulnerable population more quickly,” Azar said. He said some Governors had “over-reacted” to prioritization recommendations. “If you’re not using vaccine that you have the right to, then we should be re-balancing to states that are using that vaccine. It is common sense,” Azar said. “We want to give notice, so, get your data in order.”
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