CNN’s Dana Bash Confronts Biden HHS Sec Nominee Becerra on Vaccine Strategy: ‘Can You Give Me a General Timeline?’
CNN’s Dana Bash confronted Xavier Becerra on how long Americans might have to wait before the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine strategy can be expected to take hold throughout the country.
Becerra was nominated by President Joe Biden to be America’s next Secretary of Health and Human Services, and he started things off by emphasizing that the country is in a “nosedive,” and that it will take time for the new administration to change the current trajectory. Bash focused on getting Becerra’s strategic timeline in response to the coronavirus, and she asked if Biden’s promise of 100 million doses in the first 100 days was actually “ambitious enough.”
“We’re certainly going to need to do even more,” Becerra answered, though he stressed that the administration was inheriting a plan that “didn’t work,” so “now we’ve got to make it work.” Bash acknowledged his point, but countered by asking him what he says to to critics who say “the Biden administration is trying to set expectations lower in order to get a political achievement.”
As Becerra touted Biden’s plan, Bash asked him “When will anyone who wants a vaccine be able to get one?”
“That is a matter of making sure we’re coordinating with the states because it is not the federal government that’s putting the vaccine in the arm,” Becerra answered. “But we are trying to provide it. We’re providing the resources and the help to make it happen. What we want to make sure is the locals, when they’re doing this, have a plan that is clear, that everyone understands so there’s no lines and so that everyone knows we’re in this together.”
Bash continued to asked Becerra to elaborate on the timeline since the Biden administration’s approach is likely to “have a much heavier hand” than what states were used to from Donald Trump.
“Well, I first have to be sworn in to give you a timeline,” Becerra answered. “President Biden has made it very clear to us. We give people straight shot information. We don’t try to hide the ball. Once we have that information I guarantee you, we will share it.”
“Can you give me a general timeline?” Bash asked again. “Is your goal this summer?”
“Let’s put it this way,” he responded, “the president, before he had an opportunity to be in the Oval Office for one day had already committed a hundred million vaccine shots in a hundred days. That’s based on the information they were able to gather. Once we’re in the House taking care of business, we’ll be able to give more precision, but you’ve got to give us a chance to figure out what’s going on in the cockpit that’s causing this plane to nosedive so severely.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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