White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is clarifying what has become a source of confusion around whether or not the Trump administration developed a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday, Klain was pressed on the confusion that has ensued after an unnamed Biden official claimed they were starting “from scratch” to develop a distribution plan.
Host Chuck Todd noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden‘s chief medical adviser, has pushed back on the claim that the Trump administration did not have a distribution plan. He asked Klain to give him an “assessment” of “what you inherited” from the previous administration.
Klain began by noting that coronavirus vaccines were developed in record time, and there have been millions of doses of the vaccines administered. However, he 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 vaccines is chaotic. It’s very limited,” he added.
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WATCH: @WHCOS Ron Klain says vaccine distribution plan “did not really exist when we came into the White House.” #MTP— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 24, 2021
Klain: “The fundamental difference between the Biden approach and the Trump approach is that we are going to take responsibility at the federal govt." pic.twitter.com/ZBjPcqNkHk
He continued to note roughly half of the doses that have been distributed to vaccine distribution locations have been administered.
“The process of getting that vaccine into arms, that’s the hard process, that’s where we’re behind as a country, and that’s where we’re focused in the Biden administration,” he said.
CNN reported on Thursday that a Biden official said they were “inheriting no coronavirus vaccine distribution plan to speak of from the Trump administration.”
“There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch,” the official added.
However, Fauci pushed back on that narrative as he told reporters that the Biden administration was “certainly not starting from scratch.”
“Because there is activity going on in the distribution,” he added.
During an interview on CNN, Fauci also noted that he was involved in crafting a distribution plan under the Trump administration and that the new White House is incorporating parts of the old plan and is not “going to scrap it.”