Biden Covid advisor challenges Cuomo’s letter to purchase vaccine straight from Pfizer

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President-elect Joe Biden’s Covid Advisory Board member Dr. Celine Gounder slammed the Trump administration’s piecemeal Covid response as some states throughout the U.S. scramble to get the vaccine doses they want. 

“I believe we have already had an excessive amount of of a patchwork response throughout the states,” Gounder stated in a Monday night interview on “The News with Shepard Smith.”

In a Friday coronavirus briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated the federal authorities is sending his state 50,000 fewer doses of the vaccine than the week earlier than. The state was getting fewer doses because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone over the age of 65 on Jan. 12.

On Monday, Cuomo sent a letter to Pfizer asking if the state of New York might purchase vaccines straight from the corporate. Final week, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made an analogous request to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Gounder informed host Shepard Smith that this strategy might trigger extra issues than it solves. 

“I believe Governor Cuomo, himself, had stated again within the spring that the state of affairs round ventilators was primarily ‘one huge Ebay‘ with all the states bidding towards each other for ventilators, and I believe this sort of an strategy to vaccine allocation goes to end result, frankly, in the identical type of state of affairs that he, himself, was criticizing final spring,” Gounder stated. 

Information from the CDC reveals that the U.S. is averaging about 900,000 vaccinations per day. Throughout an interview with Fox Information, Azar cited the CDC quantity and criticized the Biden administration’s aim of “100 million photographs in arms within the first 100 days.”

“We may have distributed 250 million doses of vaccine by the top of April,” stated Azar. “In the event that they’ve solely accomplished 100 million vaccinations by then, it is going to be a tragic squandering of the chance that we have now handed them.”

Gounder, an epidemiologist at NYU, certified Azar’s assertion, noting that distribution didn’t imply precise injections of the vaccine. 

“We have seen, although, that one, distribution could be very completely different from getting photographs in arms, that that final mile of supply is de facto the toughest half right here,” defined Gounder. “Secondly, we have now but to substantiate that these variety of doses, that 250 million quantity that he is quoting there, is de facto going to pan out.”

Cuomo in a separate letter to Azar blasted him for “complicated” the general public about vaccine stockpiles. Azar admitted on Friday that no stockpile at present exists.

Biden advisor Dr. Michael Osterholm warned that the worst of the Covid pandemic is but to come back, and the information backs up his grim prediction. The U.S. is quickly approaching 400,000 deaths within the pandemic, based on Johns Hopkins College information. That is equal to roughly one in 822 Individuals. For 19 consecutive days, there have been a minimum of 23,000 folks in ICUs because of Covid within the U.S., based on the Covid Tracking Project. The HHS reported that almost 80% of ICU beds are occupied nationwide. 

Gounder stated that the U.S. is in “our fifth peak proper now” and that the subsequent few months can be all about “layering protections” as a way to keep away from one other. 

“We actually do must double down on issues like masking and social distancing, open air as a substitute of indoors, well-ventilated areas,” Gounder warned. “If we do these issues, then, sure, this can be our final peak however it actually is determined by every one in all us doing what should be accomplished to get again to regular life.”