Trump coronavirus vaccine chief has had ‘no contact’ with Biden transition team

Operation Warp Speed chief advisor Dr. Moncef Slaoui has had “no contact” with the incoming Biden administration concerning the transition course of and vaccine distribution plans.

Since President-elect Joe Biden received the election, President Donald Trump has refused to concede and his marketing campaign has challenged the outcomes of the election in court docket.

Despite his lack of communication with the incoming Biden administration, Slaoui stated he “can’t see” the transition impacting vaccine distribution.

“We are focused on making sure that the vaccines are made available as quickly as possible and distributed as efficiently as possible, regardless of the political context that surrounds us. Of course, we would hope that the transition happens quietly and smoothly,” Slaoui informed ABC. “We are concerned with anything that could derail the process. As it stands now, I can’t see that happening, but hopefully it doesn’t happen.”

When requested whether or not he could be open to talking with the Biden administration, Slaoui stated he would “be happy” to share data already made public, however nothing confidential.

“I have been informed that I should not be saying anything that is confidential to anybody, including anybody that’s not a part of the administration, and I’ll act in accordance with what the legal requirements are,” Slaoui informed NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

CNBC has reached out to the White House for remark.

The General Services Administration nonetheless has not formally ascertained a president-elect two weeks after Biden received the election, which is obstructing his incoming administration from gaining access to key assets and data. This has “definite impacts,” Biden chief of workers Ron Klain informed ABC, “and those impacts escalate every day.”

“The President-elect and the Vice President-elect are not getting intelligence briefings they’re entitled to. Our transition isn’t getting access to agency officials to help develop our plans, and there’s a lot of focus on that vaccine roll out plan that’s going to be critical in the early days of a Biden presidency – we have no access to that,” Klain stated.

Slaoui added that Operation Warp Speed has been “isolated from the administration, from the political environment and the political context,” and “therefore, all decisions are made [and] the train is running, whether [it’s] one administration or the other doesn’t make a difference.”

This comes after Pfizer and BioNTech utilized for an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for his or her coronavirus vaccine on Friday. The approval course of is anticipated to take a number of weeks, with an advisory committee assembly to evaluate the vaccine tentatively scheduled for early December.

Moderna additionally plans to use for an emergency use authorization, as its preliminary part three trial knowledge confirmed its vaccine is greater than 94% efficient in stopping Covid-19, the corporate introduced Monday.

Once an emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine is accepted, doses of it is going to be dispersed throughout the nation inside 24 hours, Slaoui informed Meet the Press on Sunday.

“Within 24 hours from the approval, the vaccine will be moving and located in the areas where each state would have told us they want the vaccine doses,” Slaoui stated. “We cannot move the vaccine doses prior to the emergency use authorization.”

Each state division of well being will decide the place the vaccine will likely be held, and with the assistance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every state may even determine who’s vaccinated first, in response to Slaoui.

It is probably going that the vaccines will likely be given on a “priority basis,” Slaoui stated, and “that’s very likely to be, maybe, [those that are] health care workers, first-line workers, individuals of very high risk, elderly.”

“I would expect, maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or on the 12th of December, hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the United States, across all states, in the areas that the state Department of Health have told us to deliver the vaccine,” Slaoui informed CNN on Sunday.

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