New day, new president. Depending on your specific team and taste, this is either good news or bad news. Personally, I am hoping for a break in the incredibly visceral reaction to the recent individuals in presidential politics. From Barack to Hillary to The Donald.
Biden is a welcome dose of vanilla.
Let’s start with one of hi big initiatives that he wants to launch Day 1.
100 million vaccinations in 100 days
On first blush, that’s a fantastic goal. 100 million. 100 days. Very nice repetitive touch of rhetorical skill. The goal is measurable. The goal is soon enough that there is a built in element of urgency. And the idea of the vaccine being rolled out to that many folks gives us hope that we can one day see COVID in the rear view.
But, there is also an element in the goal, and in the news surrounding that goal, that the Biden administration is somehow taking on a Trump vaccine infrastructure that is failing and transforming it into an efficient machine; something that Biden but not Trump, can accomplish.
So, to the data we go.
As I mentioned, 100 million in 100 days is catchy and impressive sounding. Added to that is the notion that it’s a goal the Biden administration is setting for itself to somehow save us from the Trump administration. While there have been problems with the rollout of the vaccination, it would seem that Trump’s mishandling of the vaccination is even more far reaching than many would have guessed: Germany is struggling with their vaccine rollout.
So, how is Trump doing? Reports are that he’s not been doing well:
The rapid expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations to senior citizens across the U.S. has led to bottlenecks, system crashes and hard feelings in many states because of overwhelming demand for the shots.
Mississippi’s Health Department stopped taking new appointments the same day it began accepting them because of a “monumental surge” in requests. People had to wait hours to book vaccinations through a state website or a toll-free number Tuesday and Wednesday, and many were booted off the site because of technical problems and had to start over.
In California, counties begged for more coronavirus vaccine to reach millions of their senior citizens. Hospitals in South Carolina ran out of appointment slots within hours. Phone lines were jammed in Georgia.
“It’s chaos,” said New York City resident Joan Jeffri, 76, who had to deal with broken hospital web links and unanswered phone calls before her daughter helped her secure an appointment. “If they want to vaccinate 80% of the population, good luck, if this is the system. We’ll be here in five years.”
Ouch. But, while narrative is interesting, I’d like to see the numbers:
More than 11.1 million Americans, or over 3% of the U.S. population, have gotten their first shot of the vaccine
The AP article is dated January 14th. The CDC keeps track of vaccine rollout data. Here is a snapshot from today:
As of today, January 20, there have been 14,270,441 people vaccinated. This is an increase of 3.1 million Americans in 6 days, or about 500,000 per day. Interestingly, the AP article has this tidbit:
More than 11.1 million Americans, or over 3% of the U.S. population, have gotten their first shot of the vaccine, a gain of about 800,000 from the day before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The data isn’t clear. From the AP article and the CDC data, it appears that we are vaccinating between 500,000 and 800,000 people a day. If we’re dosing 500,000 people per day, the Biden goal is already halfway there and he hasn’t yet done a thing having only been in office 24 hours. If we’re dosing 800,000 people a day, that is already very close to Biden’s goal of 1 million a day.
While team Biden has done a nice job of articulating a goal, the fact is that team Trump likely is already on pace to meet and surpass that goal already.