Q&A – Will Biden's Administration Expedite Vaccines to Florida?

Today’s entry: Is it true that Biden’s orders will help get more vaccines to people quicker? And what specifically about Florida? Thanks.

Bottom Line: Within President Biden’s first few days he signed numerous executive orders. With each of those orders news media accounts often reported the intent of each order without regard to the realities on the ground. This included executive actions which in theory would expedite vaccine rollouts across the country. Take for example an Associated Press story from Saturday entitled: Joe Biden’s early approach to the Virus: Under promise and Overdeliver. That’s about par for the course for the reporting these days. It stands in just a slight contrast to the daily reporting regarding President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, doesn’t it? In theory, what will occur under Biden’s new plans via executive actions he’s signed:

  • Addition of federally backed "Community vaccination centers” across the country
  • Mobile units for rural and underserved communities
  • No consideration for immigration status

Those three initiatives, should they come to fruition, do represent changes over the Trump-era policy. But before looking more closely at what those changes could bring let’s start with the premise of what can be done starting with...how many vaccines are available.

By now you’ve heard President Biden’s articulated goal of immunizing 100 million Americans within his first 100 days in office. I’ll ask you two questions. What was President Trump’s articulated goal and how many vaccines have been administered daily prior to the Biden administration's executive actions? President Trump’s stated goal for the first quarter of this year was to reach 1 million vaccinations per day. If you’re quick with math you might have just realized something. President Biden’s stated goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days is literally no different than President Trump’s goal of 1 million per day. It’s just being articulated differently. That comes back to how many vaccines are available. As for the answer to the second question... On President Trump’s last day in office, the United States administered 984,000 vaccines. In other words, the Trump administration had already achieved the goal by the time Biden came into power.

President Biden did sign executive orders mandating three changes. First, addition of federally backed Community vaccination centers across the country. Second, mobile units for rural and underserved communities. Third, no consideration for immigration status.

Starting with the federally backed community vaccination centers. This is no different than what Florida has already done with the use of sites like Marlins Park for vaccinations. Florida’s performance during the rollout of vaccinations was better than average, especially for a large state. Some states which are less organized in their rollouts might benefit from added community vaccination centers but there isn’t any clear benefit in Florida. The issue hasn’t been access to vaccination sites, it’s been demand greatly outstripping supply for vaccinations.

The use of mobile units has the potential to be effective across the country and in Florida. It’s challenging for someone who is in a community where vaccination sites aren’t readily available to gain access to an appointment. The net effect is/will likely be fewer people in less populated areas becoming vaccinated without additional support. The use of mobile units in these communities represents potential upside over previous plans.

Going forward the Biden administration intends to drop documentation requirements proving legal status for those who receive the federal vaccinations. Those are currently the Pfizer vaccinations. We’re talking about a policy that literally prioritizes illegal immigrants for vaccinations, at taxpayer expense, alongside legal American citizens. It’s an injustice that’s hard to put to words but it’s consistent with the Obama-Biden amnesty policies generally. You could have Americans die from COVID-19 who weren’t able to obtain a vaccination they paid for because illegal immigrants were prioritized. So, what about the impact of Biden’s vaccination policies in Florida?

With capacity for vaccinations already maxing out with Pfizer and Moderna, the best chance of an improvement in vaccines available comes from a new vaccine candidate coming online, a la Johnson & Johnson’s which is a single dose vaccine should it be approved by the FDA. Otherwise, there’s the potential benefit for Floridians in rural communities to be better served through mobile units. But then there’s the rub for the average Floridian.

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.


Parler & Twitter:@brianmuddradio

Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

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