Despite the head start given it by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, the Biden administration is admitting it will not hit its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the nation’s adults by the Fourth of July.
Jeffrey Zients, the head of the White House COVID-19 response team, took a victory lap Tuesday while saying that not achieving the goal was really a victory, according to ANI News.
“We set 70 percent of adults as our aspirational target. We have met or exceeded it for most of our population. This is a remarkable achievement,” he said.
“Today, nearly 80 percent of people 65 and older are fully vaccinated. … For Americans who are 40 years old and over, 75 percent have received at least one shot.
“For Americans 30 and older, we have met the president’s goal of one shot. That’s right, we have met the president’s 70 percent goal of all Americans 30 and over,” he said.
“The reality is, many younger Americans have felt like COVID-19 is not something that impacts them and have been less eager to get the shot,” he said.
Zients, without noting any efforts by the Trump administration, said Biden’s administration had worked wonders.
“We have built an unparalleled, first-of-its-kind, nationwide vaccination program. And as a result, we have successfully executed the most complex, logistical task in history — administering 300 million shots in 150 days,” Zients said.
On Friday, former President Donald Trump issued a statement pushing back against the Biden administration’s narrative.
“When Biden tries to claim credit for vaccine distribution, a distribution system that was set up by the Trump Administration, he should remember that if I didn’t purchase, very early on, billions of dollars worth of the vaccine, bottles, needles, and everything else that goes with it, he and his administration would not have been giving vaccinations until October or November of this year,” Trump said in a statement on his website.
“So let them go on and on with their Fake Campaign and Fake Election results and Fake Media, but without the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, millions of people would be dying all over the World that will now be saved,” Trump said.
Say thank you Donald J. Trump and all those who worked on #OperationWarpSpeed.
— David Webb (@davidwebbshow) June 22, 2021
Large minority populations in the south with high vaccine hesitancy in those communities. Maybe Democrats shouldn’t have bashed the vaccines being produced under Trumps Operation Warp Speed Blacks and young people tend to be democrats…
— What? (@Antagonist_1) June 22, 2021
As part of the briefing, a source identified as a senior administration official said the goal was not really a hard-and-fast target.
“We always intended July Fourth as a moment to take stock and celebrate the progress we’ve made. But by no means was it an end point,” a senior administration official said, according to NBC News.
“What really matters is what the country feels like and what Americans are safely able to do. Restaurants and schools have been able to reopen. There will be celebrations that are very different than what we talked about even a few weeks ago.”
“I think for us, it’s less about the number and more about, does America look like America again? Have we protected some of our most vulnerable?” the official said.
“Not only is the answer yes, but we’ve done it much faster than we anticipated.”
On May 4, Biden set a goal of having 70 percent of all Americans at least partially vaccinated by July 4.
The other goal, of having 160 million Americans fully vaccinated, won’t happed until “no later than-mid July,” Zients said.
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