“We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.”
As The Washington Post reports, “Operation Warp Speed” is working about as well as everything else organized by the Trump administration:
Officials in multiple states said they were alerted late Wednesday that their second shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine next week had been reduced, sparking widespread confusion and spurring the company’s CEO to put out a statement saying it had millions more doses than were being distributed…
…Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said anticipated shipments to the state in the next two weeks had been cut roughly in half. The uncertainty was even more pronounced in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said new shipments from Pfizer were “on hold,” as officials in his administration reported their expected allocation disappearing entirely in Tiberius, the online tracking system the Trump administration is using to coordinate with the states.
Part of the problem, it appears, is that the Trump administration made the decision to hold onto millions of doses of the vaccine for reasons that nobody can really explain:
Some state officials said the delayed shipment of the second dose only complicated their planning, while a person familiar with Pfizer’s supply, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details, said there were many more doses available that are not being shipped than simply the batches being held back for booster shots.
Another person involved in the planning who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation said Pfizer executives were baffled the administration was not immediately distributing all of its vaccine, and instead leaving much of it on the shelves. [Pols emphasis]
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee summed up what many state officials are experiencing in a Tweet on Thursday:
.@CDCgov has informed us that WA’s vaccine allocation will be cut by 40 percent next week — and that all states are seeing similar cuts.
This is disruptive and frustrating. We need accurate, predictable numbers to plan and ensure on-the-ground success.
No explanation was given.
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) December 17, 2020
For a guy who really wants four more years in the White House, President Trump doesn’t seem all that interested in doing the job.