A promise made several weeks ago White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is making the rounds — as President Donald Trump’s administration has now failed to hit a target date for a coronavirus vaccine.
On Sept. 17, Meadows told reporters outside the White House that the plan was for 100 million doses of a vaccine would be “ready to go” by Oct. 31.
“In terms of the number of vials, what we’re shooting for is to try to make sure that we have 100 million doses in that first tranche,” Meadows said. He added, “100 million doses is one-third of the population. That’s pretty wide distribution, when you look at that, and that’s October … we believe that we could get the vast majority of those at risk with a distribution model that would be available at the end of October.”
Meadows further stated that the vaccine would be ready for full distribution in January.
Those comments drew attention at the time, because it directly contradicted the timeline put out by CDC Director Robert Redfield one day earlier before Congress. Redfield told a Senate committee that the vaccine wouldn’t be available in such a significant quantity until the late spring or summer of 2021.
The first doses of a vaccine still appear to be several months away. Pfizer recently said it expects to have 40 million by the end of the year. Moderna believes it will have 20 million ready by January.
But with the end of October now here, and the vaccine not ready — and seemingly not yet that close — the remarks from Meadows are gaining renewed attention. Here’s a sampling of the reaction:
Okay, where is it? https://t.co/H8In5SwcBE
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) October 31, 2020
The lies — and that is the word — are exhausting. https://t.co/FASfCimR8F
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 31, 2020
Well, this uncritically reproduced propaganda turned out to be propaganda. https://t.co/rXpUSGc5kN
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) October 31, 2020
Checking in here: is now the last day of October.
There is no vaccine, let alone 100 million doses. https://t.co/QrGlEgIMcp
— Lauren Peikoff (@laurenpeikoff) October 31, 2020
Think there’s a rule in the White House that as long as it’s 30 days away, you can literally promise anything you want. https://t.co/W3LbWBtsk1
— Andy Slavitt @ (@ASlavitt) October 31, 2020
Maybe that’s why Trump cut his rally short in Minnesota.
So he could get back to the White House lab and start filling vials. https://t.co/32nTkjDA0T
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) October 31, 2020
Those 100 million doses of vaccine must be in the same vault as Trump’s health care plan.
Next to his tax returns. https://t.co/JRmrliZBRS
— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) October 30, 2020
Pres. Trump just said in MI that former VP Biden’s pandemic plan would “delay the vaccine.” There’s no evidence of that. And it comes as the White House misses its own self-imposed goal on initial doses. The president has been saying a vaccine is “weeks away” for, well, weeks. https://t.co/STSTMjiTik
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) October 30, 2020
It’s 10/31 https://t.co/Lw3geb8GLD
— Ali Dukakis (@ajdukakis) October 31, 2020
Update: none of this happened https://t.co/KbE29MqflB
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) October 30, 2020