2020-11-19 07:32

Trump’s post-election tantrum is holding up federal vaccine planning iSb世界播



Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images iSb世界播

图片来源:Tasos Katopodis/Getty ImagesiSb世界播

After months of mounting case counts and strained hospital capacity, the past two weeks have brought us some overdue good news in our struggle with the coronavirus pandemic. Both Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna have announced unexpectedly promising results for their COVID-19 vaccine, which — if they get the FDA’s signoff — could be ready for public use next year. For the first time since the pandemic began, it feels like we have a clear path to returning to everyday life. iSb世界播


If they are authorized, getting those vaccines out to the general US public will require a huge federal effort, one that is already getting caught in the chaos of the outgoing Trump administration. Two weeks after Election Day, President Trump has yet to acknowledge that he lost the election — and the consequences of that pettiness have effectively frozen the work that would normally be done by the incoming Biden administration. As local agencies start to prepare for the challenge of vaccine distribution, they’re running up against the gridlock caused by Trump’s delayed transition — and officials are starting to give grave warnings about what a delay in vaccine planning might mean. iSb世界播


“We do not have access to official government data, internal data sets,” transition official David Kessler told reporters on a call on Tuesday. “There are career officials at HHS that are right now developing plans for February and March on vaccine distribution ... Our team cannot communicate with them.” iSb世界播

过渡官员大卫·凯斯勒(David Kessler)周二在一次电话会议上告诉记者:“我们无法获得政府的官方数据和内部数据集。”“卫生和公众服务部的一些职业官员目前正在制定2月和3月的疫苗分发计划……。我们的团队无法与他们沟通。“。iSb世界播

Speaking to NBC News, president-elect Joe Biden put it in even starker terms. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told NBC’s Geoff Bennett. iSb世界播

当选总统乔·拜登在接受NBC新闻采访时用了更加严厉的措辞。拜登告诉美国全国广播公司(NBC)的杰夫·贝内特(Geoff Bennett):“如果我们不协调,可能会有更多人死亡。”iSb世界播

The call for a smoother transition has also come from public health officials outside the Biden camp. In an interview with CNN earlier this week, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said the delay would likely degrade the incoming administration’s ability to respond to the coronavirus. “Of course it would be better if we could start working with them,” said Fauci, who has served in six administrations. “You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody. You want to just essentially keep going, and that’s what transition is. So it certainly would make things [go] more smoothly if we could do that.” iSb世界播

拜登阵营外的公共卫生官员也发出了更平稳过渡的呼吁。在本周早些时候接受美国有线电视新闻网(CNN)采访时,NIAID主任安东尼·福奇(Anthony Fuci)表示,拖延可能会降低即将上任的政府应对冠状病毒的能力。曾在六届政府任职的福奇说:“当然,如果我们能开始与他们合作就更好了。”“你不会想停下来然后把它给别人的。你只想从本质上继续前进,这就是过渡。因此,如果我们能做到这一点,肯定会让事情(进行得)更顺利。“。iSb世界播

Official results clearly point to a Biden victory, even though a number of late-arriving votes have yet to be officially counted. But in the face of Trump’s refusal to concede, the General Services Administration has refused to give the transition teams access to federal documents or buildings, essentially putting the transition on hold indefinitely. (GSA did not respond to a request for comment.) iSb世界播

官方结果清楚地表明拜登会获胜,尽管一些晚到的选票还没有正式统计。但面对特朗普拒绝让步,总务署(General Services Administration)拒绝让过渡团队接触联邦文件或大楼,基本上是无限期地搁置了过渡。(GSA没有回复记者的置评请求。)。iSb世界播

That hold extends to the Department of Health and Human Services, which has handled much of the federal coronavirus response. Speaking to Good Morning America earlier this week, HHS secretary Alex Azar said the incoming team couldn’t be brought in on vaccine distribution plans until “GSA determines that there is — if there is — a transition to do.” (Reached for comment, HHS referred queries to GSA.) But with the massive task of nationwide vaccine distribution approaching, the delay is costing public health officials precious time. iSb世界播


The CDC released its official vaccine distribution playbook in August, but there are still lingering questions about how big a role the federal government will play in distributing the vaccine. Most everyday vaccine distribution is performed by state and local health departments, but the extreme nature of the pandemic has driven many experts to call for a coordinated federal response, including Fauci himself. iSb世界播


Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says the Trump administration has sent mixed messages on the question, which makes a smooth transition even more important. iSb世界播

约翰·霍普金斯健康安全中心(Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security)高级学者埃里克·托纳(Eric Tiner)表示,特朗普政府在这个问题上发出了含混不清的信息,这使得平稳过渡变得更加重要。iSb世界播

“At times, HHS and Operation Warp Speed have said they are providing guidance to the states and the states will do distribution,” Toner says. “At other times, they talk about directly shipping products to hospitals and to nursing homes, bypassing the state health departments. So it’s a little bit confusing.” iSb世界播

托纳说:“有时,卫生与公众服务部(HHS)和翘曲速度行动(Operation Warp Speed)表示,他们正在向各州提供指导,各州将进行分销。”“在其他时候,他们谈论绕过国家卫生部门,直接把产品运到医院和疗养院。所以这有点令人困惑。“。iSb世界播

In September, the White House laid out a role for the Department of Defense to use military equipment to ship vaccine supplies directly to health centers, but it’s unclear whether that plan has moved forward. The incoming Biden task force might want to modify the plan or shift authority back to the states — but they can’t do any of it until they sit down with the HHS officials who have been making the plans until now. On the other side, local officials won’t know if they’ll be getting military help until they can talk to the incoming HHS team, which can’t happen until the transition officially goes through. iSb世界播


So far, the Biden transition team is keeping quiet about the issue, at least officially. The team did not respond to inquiries about the transition, and specific members of the HHS transition team declined to comment. Still, the Biden team is moving fast, making the first round of staff appointments on Tuesday and pointing to coronavirus response as a chief priority. iSb世界播


The biggest threat to Biden’s coronavirus efforts could be a broader loss of the federal government’s credibility to distribute a vaccine at all. Polls from the summer showed that people are already reluctant to take a COVID-19 vaccine. If the FDA takes the unprecedented step of authorizing a vaccine for emergency use, it’s likely to face even more skepticism from a public already extremely wary of political jockeying over a vaccine. Continued delays to the transition could make regaining the public’s trust even more difficult. iSb世界播


“As Trump and Republicans who are supporting his messaging continue to undermine the election results, they are also undermining the credibility of the incoming administration,” says Toner. “That is a terrible thing to do from the perspective of public health, and from the perspective of the vaccination program. It puts a lot of people’s health and lives at stake.” iSb世界播


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