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President-elect Joe Biden will be dropping the name “Operation Warp Speed” to create his own vaccine-rollout task force.

Operation Warp Speed was a program initiated during the President Trump administration. The goal was “to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures).”

The incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki attributed the decision to alleged “failures of the Trump team approach to vaccine distribution.”

“OWS [Operation Warp Speed] is the Trump team’s name for their program. We are phasing in a new structure, which will have a different name than OWS. Many of the public servants will be essential to our response.”

The new name that President-elect Biden has chosen to use for the vaccination efforts moving forward is “Covid Response”.

While the incoming Biden administration plans to keep some of the members of the outgoing Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, they have also replaced some members as well.

David Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, will serve as chief science officer for Joe Biden’s “Covid Response”, replacing Dr. Moncef Slaoui.

Jen Psaki also outlined some of the goals that the incoming administration hopes to achieve in their vaccination efforts.

“Lots of good [questions] about the structure of our experienced COVID team. Bechara Choucair will oversee vaccinations efforts getting 100 [million] vaccines in the arms of Americans in 100 days — in his role on the WH COVID team,” said Psaki.

Vivek Murthy, who has been nominated by President-elect Biden to be U.S. Surgeon General, acknowledged the concern among those who are reluctant to get vaccinated and cite how quickly the vaccine was developed. 

“One last myth that I want to dispel is a concern that I’ve heard from some people that this vaccine was developed too fast, right?” said Murthy.

“For some people, they heard and they said, ‘Why is this happening so fast? Are there corners being cut? Are there safety precautions that are not being taken?”

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, “We want to make sure that any vaccine that comes out in America has the full gold standard stamp of approval of the FDA career people.” 

Several figures in the Democratic party have been critical of the Trump administration’s COVID response.

Most notably, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who imposed lockdowns on New York for the better part of 2020, said that they have not been able to keep up with vaccinations following the increase in the amount of people who are eligible to get vaccinated.

“Our constraint is the federal supply. That is creating a scheduling backlog and it’s creating pressure on what was supposed to be the prioritization process,” said Cuomo.

This is following the recommendation by federal officials to make people aged 65 and up eligible to receive the vaccine.
There have been over 12 million doses of the vaccine administered so far.

Written ByLinn Win

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