Home / US / Experts warn of vaccine stumble ‘Out the door’ as Trump officials refuse to discuss Team Biden

Experts warn of vaccine stumble ‘Out the door’ as Trump officials refuse to discuss Team Biden

The smooth delivery is in stark contrast to what is happening now as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to dominate in a two-barreled crisis involving deadly viruses and its political consequences. The economy, experts say, requires close cooperation. As the coronavirus takes over US hospitals and kills more than 3,300 people a day on average, the Trump administration has halted access to information and has failed to consult its successors, including: The distribution of the vaccine gives the highest hope of an epidemic occurring.

For over a month, the Biden team pressed to the proposed meeting. “Real-time data on vaccine production and distribution”

; – an important detail for elected president advisers to debate how to keep the epidemic under control. say Speaking on the terms of anonymity to discuss personal interactions

Although the professional health worker is helpful. But it was not until this week that Biden officials were allowed to attend Operation Warp Speed, a management initiative to speed up vaccine development and distribution. They were not yet invited to two Warp Speed ​​conferences this weekend when Trump officials decided to make a broad change to try to speed up the sluggish launch of the vaccine. There was no briefing on those changes in advance.

While some of the policies reflect Biden’s plans, others raise red flags among the president-elect advisers. One is advice for immediately offering the vaccine to dozens. million Under the age of 65 at high risk Medical Conditions – A shift that the Biden team fears can overwhelm the state’s supply and already strained registration systems, while creating unrealistic expectations for people in need of vaccinations.

more The new policy involves a controversial question of whether to punish slower-moving states. Should be It took effect the week after Biden became president. Government officials said they were unsure whether to take the new policy seriously or to ward off it because it appeared to lack support from the incoming administration.

But on Thursday, Connecticut state Ned Lamont (D) tweeted that federal officials had informed the state that 50,000 more drugs would be received next week, “as a reward for being in the group. The fastest state ”to get a weapon. Meanwhile, West Virginia, which is moving in the fastest clip based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did not receive any additional volumes, said Holli Nelson, a spokeswoman for the state’s National Guard, a health and human services spokeswoman. Immediate response to requests for comment

Biden shift officials also said the transition team needed weeks to reach Tiberius, an information system that would help officials previously understand “where the vaccine is going, which state is ordering when it is moved”.

“Look, we are still preparing to achieve 100 million shots in 100 days,” the official said, referring to Biden’s promise in early December, “but it would be much more useful if we had access to real-time data. ”

On Thursday afternoon, another senior Biden official described “uneven cooperation” from the Trump administration, he spoke of the conditions of anonymity ahead of Biden’s speech on Thursday night calling for Congress. $ 400 billion added to fight the epidemic., Including $ 20 billion for the national vaccination program

The lack of coordination “means we are stumbling upon vaccines,” said Douglas Brinkley, president of Rice University historian. “We failed at the government level with distribution because there was no game plan. There was one Trump who was in turmoil and one Biden to learn. ”

The decision prompted the state to immediately vaccinate larger numbers of people – about 81 million people aged 16 to 64 with a high-risk medical condition. – “Absolutely not appropriate,” said Michael Osterholm, a member of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board; and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota

“When you advise that… exceeds the amount available for the foreseeable future, that is not helpful,” Osterholm says. “It’s confusing, frustrating, and frankly, a lack of trust in the system.”

Alex Azar, HHS Secretary General and other Warp Speed ​​officials said they decided to add the feature dramatically because too much was sitting in the freezer and they had more confidence in providing a reliable vaccine.

A senior Trump official denied any attempts to keep Biden in the dark about Warp Speed ​​activities, the official speaking on conditions of anonymity to discuss the internal hearing said, while officials Biden was recently invited to the Warp Speed ​​conferences, they are regularly briefed on what’s available. Be discussed

The official said it was inappropriate for the Biden team to take part in the decision because the United States had “one government at a time”. He added that when Biden became president “they could change everything if they wanted”.

In a statement, an HHS spokesperson said the agency was “committed to a professional, smooth transition plan” and to be briefed with the Biden team as needed.

The tension between the incoming and outgoing administration was not uncommon – the post-election period between Democrat Harry S. Truman and Republican Dwight D. But it was hard to imagine that change. More violent than now, with a president angry at the election results due to a deadly outbreak that spread out of control.

“It’s a terrible TV show that I’m going to stop watching because it’s really unbelievable,” said Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan.

The first change came to a halt when the General Services Administration, led by Trump’s nominee, refused to accept Biden’s victory and fund his transformation team.The GSA administrator returned to course on the 23rd. But although Trump’s career officials were told they could speak to the Biden team, they were allowed to share only publicly available information, the administration’s health officials who spoke on terms of non-disclosure. Identity to discuss internal matters. “After that, we can share information anonymously. But must be cleared first “

While the Trump team has chosen not to cooperate with Biden in some areas, there should be a free flow of vaccine information, Trump health officials said, comparing the current crisis to the war. “This outbreak is likely to be the DPZ zone that has been wiped out,” he added.

Brinkley shares that view. “Operation Warp Speed ​​should be deeply bipartisan,” he said with a constant exchange of information. “The fact that it didn’t happen to Trump was because he called it” the truth. ” It was a fraudulent election. Why should I give information to someone impersonating an elected president “

Max Stier, President and CEO of Partnership for Public Service and President Transition Specialist, describes the delivery of power as a relay race where runners go through the baton. “You run side by side as fast as you can so you can win. “You don’t want it to be a start-and-stop strategy, you want it to be a smooth hand.”

“Since your decision may only take a week, it should be consistent,” he added.

Despite the challenges, Biden and his team gathered a wealth of information about the production and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine from long-standing contacts at pharmaceutical companies and federal agencies. And they get information through the back channel from “part-time” career workers and using personal email accounts.

Former CDC Director Jeffrey P. Koplan said it was “shocking” that a member of the exit administration was not involved with Biden’s team in the decision.

“It’s not rocket science – it has been done before,” said Koplan, who is head of the CDC under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Nicole Lurie, who is an adviser to the Biden team, said there was also further discussion and cooperation on previous changes to a wide range of health issues, said to have contributed to Obama’s transformation and later held the position. To prepare and respond at the HHS, Obama Assistant Secretary.

“I know people in roles before me, we had redundant moments and lots of information sharing,” Lurie said. “It’s nowhere as complicated as it is now.”

While Bush-Obama deliveries are often cited as a prototype. But a well-working change was hailed by leaders of both sides as a prime target until recently, according to former administrative officials and historians.

Throughout the 20th century, both outgoing and incoming presidents were at times antagonistic, such as in the transition between Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s. Brinkley said. Yet, at that time, it was thought that “the crown of American democracy is a smooth transition. You went out to fight politics for two years, ”until the election followed a smooth transition, he said.

Participation intensified in the 1990s, he said, but even after the 2000 election, which was disputed more than a month before a Supreme Court decision, Bill Clinton officials provided intelligence information. With Al Qaeda and other militants to the George W. Bush team, this happened before it became clear that Bush – not Clinton Al Gore’s vice president – would be president. Next, Brinkley said.

Recalling the electoral fight pulled, Summers, who in 2000 served as Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, said: “We don’t think what happened was fair or lawful. But it does not happen to everyone who will not accept or not work out with the changes when the Supreme Court ruled. ”

Brinkley said: “It used to be seen as anti-American for a smooth transition.”

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