Fauci’s remarks come as the Trump administration looks set to miss its year-end goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans. About 12.4 million doses of the vaccine have been delivered to states, and about 2.7 million people have received the first of the two vaccines, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, the US outbreak has continued to worsen over the winter season, as Americans spread the virus indoors and gather in groups to celebrate the holidays. More than 3,740 deaths were recorded on Wednesday, another one-day record, and the number of cases is expected to continue to climb rapidly through January.
Vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, both cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use earlier this month, are providing some relief from the public health crisis. But Fauci admitted Thursday that the US vaccination effort had failed to meet the more optimistic forecasts of some administration officials.
Fauci reported that he spoke Wednesday morning with General Gustave Perna, the COO of Operation Warp Speed, about the state of vaccination programs, and that the vaccination rate desired by the administration was now more likely to be enter in the middle of January, February and March of next year.
“Anytime you have a really big operation – like trying to vaccinate an entire country with a new vaccine – there will always be roadblocks in the road and hiccups about it,” Fauci said. “We hope that is what it reflects.”
In recent days, the administration has argued that CDC vaccination figures underestimate the actual number of vaccines that have been administered, while President Donald Trump himself has repeatedly placed the onus on states to vaccinate. their residents. “The federal government distributed the vaccines to the states. Now it is up to the States to manage. Get moving! ”He tweeted on Wednesday.
But Fauci stressed Thursday that the federal government must first ensure “that states and local authorities have the necessary resources to implement these programs,” and he signaled his apparent disagreement with the White House on vaccination strategy.
“My feeling is – and not everyone would agree with me – is that there has to be a strong relationship between the national approach and the local approach,” Fauci said.
When federal officials leave their state and local counterparts “alone, without giving them direction, without giving them the kind of resources they need … they can’t do it,” he added. “And that is positive proof.”