The Corner

Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris Disputes Dr. Fauci, Insists Biden Administration Is ‘Starting from Scratch’ on Coronavirus

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event in Raleigh, N.C., September 28, 2020. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Kamala Harris, in an interview with Mike Allen of Axios, this weekend:

AXIOS: You’re coming up on a month inside the machine. What are you finding is harder about the pandemic? How are you finding the hole is deeper?

KAMALA HARRIS: I mean, the challenge, Mike, is what I explained to the mayors. There was no stockpile. Right? It’s in many ways–

AXIOS: No stockpile of?

KAMALA HARRIS: Of vaccines, right? So we’re looking at this. There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so, in many ways, we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking at the White House, January 21:

Q    Okay.  And if I could just ask you about the effort to distribute the vaccines, because, of course, that’s what most people want to know: when are they going to get a vaccine.  Is the Biden administration starting from scratch with the vaccine distribution effort, or are you picking up where the Trump administration left off?

DR. FAUCI:  No, I mean, we certainly are not starting from scratch because there is activity going on in the distribution.

. . . I mean, we’re coming in with fresh ideas, but also some ideas that were not bad ideas with the — with the previous administration.  You can’t say it was absolutely not usable at all.  So we are continuing, but you’re going to see a real ramping-up of it.

If you look at the daily rate of vaccinations, the Trump administration started from zero and increased it to a rolling average of 913,000 per day; 1.5 million doses were administered on the last day of the Trump administration, January 20. Since Biden became president, that rolling average has increased to 1.7 million per day, with the U.S surpassing 2 million doses administered a few days. The number of vaccinations is steadily increasing since Biden took office, but the rate of increase is about the same.

Kamala Harris is the biggest liability of the Biden administration because she lies, obviously and clumsily, even when she doesn’t need to lie. If Harris wanted to say, “The plan we inherited was nowhere near ambitious or thorough or detailed enough,” fine. Fauci and the now-replaced Operation Warp Speed scientific adviser Dr. Moncef Sloaui or General Gustave Perna or others would dispute the characterization, but we can have the argument about whether the plan was robust enough. But Harris has to cling to the already debunked claim that there was no plan.

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