The nation’s top infectious disease expert is expressing disappointment that the U.S. hasn’t met its goal of administering COVID-19 vaccine doses to 20 million Americans by the end of the year.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke Thursday with Today about the United States’ rollout of two COVID-19 vaccines, as officials say almost 2.8 million Americans have received doses, according to The New York Times. This number falls short of the goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020.
“We’d have liked to have seen it run smoothly and have 20 million doses into people today, by the end of 2020, which was the projection,” Fauci said. “Obviously it didn’t happen, and that’s disappointing.”
Fauci expressed hope that the U.S. vaccination program will gain “momentum” in the first few weeks of January, but he added that there needs to be “a lot more” resources provided to states and cities “to help them to get this task done.” Asked if the federal government should take over the vaccination effort, Fauci again suggested instead that more resources be provided to states.
“Rather than stepping in and taking over, I think it would be maybe better to give more resources and to work in tandem with them,” Fauci said. “In other words, not saying, “We’re taking over, we’re going to do your job,’ but saying, ‘We’re going to really help you to do your job, particularly by giving you many more resources.'”
Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Dr. Moncef Slaoui, who earlier this month said the goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans this year should be reached, previously acknowledged that the number of vaccinations “is lower than what we hoped for,” per The New York Times. He added, “We know that it should be better, and we’re working hard to make it better.” Brendan Morrow
“The good news is that it does not appear to be more virulent.”
Watch @craigmelvin’s full interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci on the dangerous new coronavirus strain now in the United States, and what it will take to fix the slow start to the vaccine push. pic.twitter.com/Z8yK7IpJCt
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 31, 2020