According to Forbes.com, on the afternoon of December 8 local time, Trump held a “vaccine summit” at the White House to celebrate the expected approval of the first coronavirus vaccine in the United States. He also signed an executive order at the summit aimed at prioritizing the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to the United States.
That afternoon, Biden officially introduced seven members of the health care team in Delaware, and announced three major goals to fight the epidemic within 100 days of his tenure.
The Washington Post pointed out that Trump and Biden sent contradictory messages at the two events, and the two sides will continue to compete for public attention.
How is the “ring show”?
What did Trump say at the summit?
On December 8th local time, Trump celebrated the achievements of Operation Warp Speed in accelerating the development of a coronavirus vaccine at the White House. He also criticized those who had questioned the vaccine work. Trump called vaccine development a “great national achievement, and we are doing things at unprecedented levels”.
Trump said at the summit that the mass distribution of vaccines would be expected to be earlier than most people expected, according to the Associated Press. Some people say it’s a miracle, and I think they’re right.”
Trump also pointed out that the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech in Germany will be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as early as this week, and is expected to provide 100 million doses of vaccine to 50 million Americans in the coming months.
In his speech, Trump said, “Every American who needs a vaccine can get a vaccine. We believe that by next spring, our situation will greatly improve, which we could not imagine a few months ago.
The Associated Press pointed out that although Trump owes himself to the accelerated process of vaccine research and development, most of the basic work has been laid down in the past 10 years. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a well-known epidemiologist in the United States and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Associated Press that the accelerated pace of research and development reflects the results of previous years of work, which must be clear to the public.
The Associated Press analysis believes that the vaccine distribution may actually be mainly carried out by the Biden team of “president-elect”, but Biden’s transition team was not invited at the summit that day.
When asked why the White House didn’t invite the Biden team, Trump shifted the conversation and again raised the claim that there was no real winner in the election.
Biden said that during last week’s meeting with Trump administration officials, no detailed vaccination plans were found. However, Trump administration officials insist that vaccine distribution and vaccination plans have been developed, and state and local governments will ensure that those with the highest risk coefficients are vaccinated first.
How is the vaccine distribution progressing?
According to the Associated Press, the FDA’s vaccine expert group will meet on December 10th local time to conduct a final review of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, and meet on the 17th to discuss whether to approve the Moderna vaccine.
But the distribution of vaccines in the United States is not as smooth as the White House described. According to the Washington Post, there are still great challenges in vaccine distribution in the United States. Earlier, the Trump administration rejected Pfizer’s agreement to buy an additional 100 million doses to 500 million doses of vaccines, which may lead to delays in the delivery of the second batch of vaccines, and the United States may be in short supply in the future.
On December 7th local time, the Washington Post quoted several people familiar with the matter as saying that Pfizer said it would first fulfill other international contracts, and Pfizer could not supply a large number of additional vaccines to the United States until June or July next year.
According to CNN, Trump administration officials said that the government is negotiating with Pfizer. “We are absolutely confident that we will have enough vaccines to meet the needs of all people who intend to be vaccinated before the end of the second quarter of 2021.”
In addition, Trump also took advantage of the summit event to sign an executive order requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure that Americans have priority access to vaccines.
A senior government official said the order would restrict the federal government’s delivery of vaccines to other countries. The vaccine will be first used to meet domestic demand and will not be delivered out until the oversupply. Another government official told Fox News that “the executive order will determine the international cooperation framework for vaccine distribution and operational guidelines”.
According to the analysis of the New York Times, according to government officials, the executive order does not seem to have real effect in itself and cannot expand the supply of vaccine doses in the United States. However, it has successfully provided Trump with a topic that can help him refute criticism of limited vaccine supplies.
Since the vaccine distribution began at the beginning of the year, many experts have worried that nationalism may complicate efforts to distribute vaccines fairly around the world. According to the New York Times, so far, the United States has refused to participate in the international framework activities to provide vaccines to low-income countries.
What’s the purpose of holding a vaccine summit at this time?
A senior government official told ABC that the summit was aimed at conveying information to the public about the progress of vaccine research and developing vaccines and “instill confidence in them”.
The Associated Press pointed out that Trump’s so-called “vaccine summit” is actually to dispel public doubts about vaccines, and use vaccine distribution as a reason to gain credit for himself and build his own “political legacy”. ABC commented that the summit was more appropriate to describe Trump’s “complace” rally.
However, neither Pfizer nor Moderna was represented at the summit. According to the US technology news website STAT, some people in the pharmaceutical industry pointed out that the summit was essentially a “political stunt”, and politicizing health issues would affect people’s confidence in vaccines.
Notably, the summit was held only two days before the FDA publicly reviewed Pfizer’s vaccine data.” STAT pointed out that the White House wants to use the summit to pressure the FDA to take responsibility for the rapid development of the coronavirus vaccine and require it to quickly approve the coronavirus vaccine. According to Bloomberg, FDA Director Stephen Hahn has been called to the White House twice to explain why the FDA’s emergency authorization process for vaccines is so slow.
Hahn said in an interview with Reuters that he understood the pressure on the FDA from the Trump administration and had had “active discussions” with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to ensure that the vaccine was “safe and effective”. Hahn pointed out that the FDA is likely to urgently authorize a vaccine in December.
A preview of the “ring show”?
According to the U.S. media “Axios” news network, Trump is considering leaving the White House in a “dramatic” way, including the last flight to Florida on the presidential plane Air Force One, and another opposition rally on the day Biden takes office.
The Washington Post pointed out that the two events held by the two sides on December 8th local time seemed to be a preview of this scene.
Biden is introducing members of the health care team in Delaware at the same time as the White House holds the “Vaccine Summit”. Fauci did not attend either event due to scheduling conflicts, but he appeared on the huge screen of Delaware by video speech.
The Washington Post analysis found that although it is not clear who first scheduled the event on Tuesday afternoon, the two events related to the coronavirus epidemic contrasted sharply and sent contradictory messages to the public.
Trump claimed that the vaccine will be urgently authorized soon, and the number of confirmed cases and deaths will be significantly reduced in a short time after the successful distribution of the vaccine. Biden set an anti-epidemic goal in his speech.
He said that once he succeeds in office, he will achieve three goals within 100 days of taking office, including distributing at least 100 million doses of vaccines, signing mask orders on the first day of office, and safely returning students to school.
Biden said, “In the 100 days of taking office, I can’t guarantee that the coronavirus epidemic will end” and “we are not quickly immersed in the epidemic, nor will we get out of trouble soon. It will take some time. But I absolutely believe that in 100 days, we can change the course of the epidemic and make American lives better.”
Biden’s team also said that more efforts will be made to fight the epidemic in the future, and perhaps people will need to make sacrifices.
In his video speech, Dr. Fauci pointed out that “the coronavirus epidemic is the worst public health crisis I have faced in 36 years in charge of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The road ahead will not be smooth sailing. We will have a lot of hard work to do next year. But as we have done in past crises, we will work together to tide over difficulties.