Via the Daily Caller, almost as interesting to me as Kudlow’s moment of candor is the fact that Axios posted the clip of its new interview with Harris yesterday and then quietly took it down at some point during the day. Is that because her “starting from scratch” quote was beginning to draw scrutiny from the media and the White House didn’t want it out there?
If so, why would Axios accede to a government request to delete a tweet that accurately reflected Harris’s point?
Presumably there’s a more banal reason for deleting the tweet. The clip’s still up on YouTube, after all:
“Starting from scratch” is a loaded term for the Biden White House because Anthony Fauci’s already on record as saying the the new administration did not, of course, start from scratch. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed, the United States was already dishing out doses at a clip of one million per day — Biden’s target for his first 100 days — before he took office. So imagine Larry Kudlow’s annoyance upon hearing the new VP seemingly suggesting that Team Trump had done nothing to get vaccines distributed before the Democrats took power:
Larry Kudlow calls “bulls**t” on a hot mic to VP Kamala Harris’ claim that the Biden admin started from scratch on vaccine distribution
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 16, 2021
Fauci was asked about Harris’s quote in an interview this morning and explained what he thought she meant. They’re not starting from scratch on producing the vaccines or getting them distributed to states, obviously. But since Team Trump relied on state governments to complete the final leg of the vaccine journey by deciding how to get the delivered doses into people’s arms, the feds were basically without a national plan on that point.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the prior administration’s vaccination plan was “rather vague” and “not well-coordinated.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2021
A few weeks ago Politifact delved into Team Joe’s claims that there was no distribution plan under Trump. Verdict: Of course there was, although naturally a Republican administration took a more decentralized approach to it than a Democratic one has.
The closest thing to a federal plan was the playbook the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave states to help them create their own distribution plans.
States wrote broad plans and submitted them in October. They lacked important details , such as how many doses they would get and when. (At the time, no vaccines were approved.)…
At the same time, it’s clear there was some level of coordination. The U.S. would not have been able to give shots to millions of people, enroll tens of thousands of private providers, and set up a data collection system tying in all 50 states if the federal and state governments had done no planning.
“To say there wasn’t planning is not accurate,” Hannan told PolitiFact. “However, I don’t think there was communication from the federal government about the plan, about the vision, about how things would work.”
At least now we have a shipshape federal program running like clockwork, right? Not quite: Read this CNN story about the National Governors Association, a bipartisan group, writing to the White House to convey its “confusion” about the current vaccine distribution process, particularly Biden’s plan to ship vaccine doses directly to pharmacies. That’s produced “inefficiencies,” as the states sometimes can’t keep track of where doses are going. Which, of course, is why Harris is so keen to stress that they’re “starting from scratch.” We can’t fault a flawed plan if it’s being created on the fly, can we?