The White House says vaccinating a large portion of the U.S. population is “going to be hard” and “it is going to take a multifaceted approach and we are open eyed about the challenge.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made those comments during a press briefing Tuesday.
Watch the press briefing in the player above.
“What he (Biden) has asked the team to do and what the team is focused on doing is also planning for contingencies,” said Psaki. “I mean, we’re at war with the virus. So in in a wartime theme here, there are a lot of things you plan for, including trucks breaking down, freezers breaking.”
President Joe Biden suggested Monday that he hopes the country can soon ramp up to 1.5 million shots dispensed per day.
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His administration has also promised more openness and said it will hold news briefings three times a week about the outbreak that has killed over 420,000 Americans.
This comes as an increasing number of COVID-19 vaccination sites around the U.S. are canceling thousands of appointments because of vaccine shortages in a rollout so rife with confusion that even the new CDC director admitted she doesn’t know exactly how many shots are in the pipeline.
States waited to find out their latest weekly allocation of vaccine from the federal government on Tuesday amid complaints from governors and top health officials about inadequate supplies and the need for earlier and more reliable estimates of how much is on the way so that they can plan accordingly.
The setup inherited from the Trump administration has been marked by miscommunication and unexplained bottlenecks, with shortages reported in some places even as vaccine doses remain on the shelf.
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Psaki said the president planned to give an update on efforts to bolster the vaccine supply and put more shots into Americans’ arms more quickly.
Psaki announced Monday that the daily briefings will start including a sign language interpreter. The Biden administration is also expected to start regular public briefings on the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday.