Biden Vows 100 Million Doses of Vaccine Within His First 100 Days
(Bloomberg) -- President-elect Joe Biden vowed Tuesday to get 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine distributed to Americans in the first 100 days of his administration.
Biden said getting vaccines to most Americans would be a costly challenge and called on Congress to designate funds for getting vaccine to the people who need it.
“This will be one of the hardest and most costly operational challenges in our nation’s history,” he said at an event to introduce his health team.
“We need Congress to finish the bipartisan work that’s underway now or millions of Americans might wait months longer to get the vaccine,” he said. “Developing a vaccine is only one herculean task. Distributing it is another herculean task.”
He also called on all Americans to wear masks in public for those 100 days to slow the spread of the virus until vaccination is more widespread and vowed to prioritize the reopening of schools.
“Whatever your politics and your point of view, mask up for 100 days when we take office. One hundred days to make a difference,” he said. “It’s not a political statement, it’s a patriotic act.”
Speaking via video conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top expert on infectious diseases, said “these actions are bold, but they are doable.”
Fauci will keep his role as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under Biden and will also become Biden’s chief medical adviser on the coronavirus.
Biden’s team spoke as President Donald Trump celebrated the development of coronavirus vaccines at a White House summit and vowed to use executive powers if necessary to acquire sufficient doses, as the number of U.S. cases surpassed 15 million.
Trump raised the possibility of invoking the Defense Production Act -- which allows the president to require companies to prioritize contracts deemed essential for national security -- if the U.S. struggles to obtain the vaccine for its citizens.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.