Pentagon Officials are sending federal troops to help administer COVID-19 vaccines at two new California locations, Cal State Los Angeles and the Oakland Coliseum.
White House reporter Chris Megerian said President Joe Biden chose the locations as a way to increase equity in how vaccines are distributed.
What You Need To Know
- Pentagon Officials are sending federal troops to help administer COVID-19 vaccines at two new California locations, Cal State Los Angeles and the Oakland Coliseum
- President Joe Biden chose the locations as a way to increase equity in how vaccines are distributed
- By the end of summer, Biden is hoping to administer 600 million vaccine doses. That is enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans because each vaccination requires two doses
- Democrats are proposing a new relief package that will have money for vaccination help, testing, and schools
“He is looking at sites where you have primarily Black and Brown residents who have struggled to get access to vaccines, where there may be substandard healthcare. Hopefully, this will make it more accessible to more people to get inoculated,” Megerian said.
Megerian said that vaccine supply is one of the most significant issues right now.
“There is a bottleneck to get enough doses out there, and producing that has been a challenge. The President recently invoked the Defensive Production Act for the first time since he has taken office. And that allows the government to ensure that Pfizer—one of the pharmaceutical companies — can get the equipment it needs fast enough to meet his production targets,” Megerian said.
By the end of summer, Biden is hoping to administer 600 million vaccine doses.
“That is enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans because each vaccination requires two doses. As far as when they will be exactly administered, it is a little fuzzier, but that is the target for actually producing and buying those vaccines,” Megerian said.
The Defense Production Act may also help in making masks.
“Really, you can use this act with anything involving national security issues. And a public health crisis like the pandemic is a security issue. The law has been around since the Korean War. It has been used many times by the federal government for all kinds of things. Such protective equipment like masks and gloves can all fall under the Defensive Production Act,” Megerian added.
State and local health officials say the Biden administration has handled the pandemic very differently than the Trump administration.
“Most notably, Biden is taking the lead in addressing the pandemic. Former President Trump did not do that. He basically absolved himself of the responsibility of handling the issue. He let states fend for themselves. And Biden has tried to put the federal government at the center of handling this crisis; deploying more resources and helping to coordinate,” Megerian said.
Democrats are proposing a new relief package with money for vaccination help, testing, and schools.
“There is definitely billions of dollars more for schools, and it could be used for a variety of things like improving ventilation systems, purchasing protective equipment for teachers, and resetting up classrooms. So, there is a huge need for these things in schools, and if that gets passed, you can see more money flowing to local school districts,” Megerian added.