President Biden was expected to announce Thursday afternoon his administration has secured new deals for a further 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine: "The president is scheduled to tour the National Institutes of Health on Thursday afternoon and deliver remarks to staff there. He had indicated last month his administration was seeking another 200 million doses of the two vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States to be available this summer — 100 million of the product developed by Pfizer and German company BioNTech, and 100 million of the product developed by Moderna," Washington Post previewed of the remarks.
However, amid all the optimism reporting in anticipation, there was this: "The new deals are unlikely to make vaccine widely available much sooner than originally anticipated, but they would prevent a shortfall later in the year." Biden later confirmed this in his remarks.
And by the time of his actual address standing beside Dr. Fauci the president confirmed he had signed final contracts for about half the anticipated 200 million doses. He said deals were finalized for 100 million more Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Biden began by noting the vaccine plan was "a mess" when he entered office while saying he wants to be "blunt." "We're going to fix it," Biden said...
President Biden on vaccination efforts:— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 11, 2021
"My predecessor, to be very blunt about it, did not do his job ... He didn't order enough vaccines. He didn't mobilize enough people to administer the shots. He didn't set up federal vaccine centers." pic.twitter.com/R6BR0Nk0Ia
Crucially, here is the most important part of his speech...
"When I took office... three weeks ago this country did bot have a plan – or enough vaccines."
Looking back and blaming the last administration, Biden said, "We didn't have any access," before adding, "We... were led to believe there was a lot more vaccines that there was."
He then brought up the issue of why the country can't simply get "more" vaccines. To which he responded:
"When will we have enough vaccines to get to 300 million plus people?... We're going to be in a position where it's not going to be by the end of the summer."
To review, this means that countrywide case numbers will likely keep tumbling down and be significantly lower at this rate by the time the majority of Americans actually have access to the jab.
As the latest from Bank of America Global Research details:
The seven-day average of new cases in the US is down by 23% from the prior week to 104,500. Compared to the mid-January peak, cases are down 44% in the US. Globally, the 7-day average of new cases stood at over 419.5k, a 17% decrease from a week ago. Meanwhile, the 7-day average of Covid-related fatalities across the globe was 12.2k yesterday.
While he was talking with Dr. Fauci, Biden siad his team "didn't have any access" to good information during the transition. His frustration was palpable. Biden noted we need to vaccinate over 300 million Americans and said "it's not going to be by the end of summer." pic.twitter.com/2jsOalsMXR— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) February 11, 2021
While boasting he had deals in the works for procuring 200 million doses, according to The Wall Street Journal Biden said "the U.S. had signed contracts with Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. for 100 million more vaccines each. The additional vaccines will bring the total number of doses ordered by the U.S. to 600 million from 400 million."
Footage from some of the remarks between President Biden and Dr. Fauci:
Dr. Fauci tells President Biden the South African COVID variant “diminishes the capability of the vaccines.”— The Recount (@therecount) February 11, 2021
He adds: “But it doesn’t completely eliminate it.” pic.twitter.com/RN3yvI228f
And further, as the WSJ reviews: "The administration said last month that it was working on the purchases, which it said would provide enough supply to vaccinate 300 million Americans in a two-dose regimen, covering all individuals in the U.S. currently eligible to receive the vaccine."