Chuck Todd Questions Ron Klain on ‘Contradiction’ in New Messaging on Vaccine Rollout
NBC’s Chuck Todd pressed White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain about the Biden administration’s claim that they need to build a new strategy from the ground up to combat the coronavirus.
As Todd welcomed Klain to Meet The Press, he got right to it and said “let me start with a contradiction, or a potential contradiction.” Todd pointed out that President Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force leader, Jeff Zients, was recently reported saying that the team had to develop a Covid vaccine distribution program “from scratch.” On the other hand, Anthony Fauci recently disputed that by telling White House reporters “no, we’re not building it from scratch.”
“Give me an assessment now after three or four days of this of what you inherited in this vaccine distribution program,” Todd asked.
Klain responded by insisting “those two statements actually reconcile more than you might think.” He argued that Fauci was speaking of the rapid scientific breakthroughs that led to the creation of Covid vaccines, whereas Zients was addressing the complications that have arisen for mass distribution.
“We have seen the initial wave of vaccinations take place. So that is progress we are building on. There’s no question about it,” Klain said. “But the process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House. As everyone in America has seen, the way in which people get vaccine is chaotic. It’s very limited. We’ve seen this factor all over the country where millions of doses have been distributed. About half of that has been given out.”
After Klain said the Biden administration’s priority was boosting distribution speed, Todd followed up by asking “where is the bottleneck” between distribution and actually administering the vaccine to people. Klain responded that Biden is orchestrating the federal government to increase the amount of resources available to states while working with manufacturers and Congress to ramp up production
“The fundamental difference between the Biden approach and the Trump approach is that we’re going to take responsibility at the federal government,” he said. “We’re going to own this problem. We’re going to work closely with the states. They are our key partners in getting this done. But we’re also going to do the work ourselves.”
Watch above, via NBC.
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