Developing vaccines for COVID-19 is important but distributing the immunizations will prove more critical said Ron Klain, incoming chief of staff to presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden.
Asked on ABC News whether President Trump should get credit for the COVID-19 vaccines on track for emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, Mr. Klain said Sunday that everyone involved in developing the coronavirus vaccines should receive credit.
“Vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations save lives,” Mr. Klain told “This Week.” “And so the scientific work that’s been done to get this vaccine to the place where it can be approved by the FDA hopefully very very soon is just the first step. The much bigger step is actually getting those vaccinations to the American people.”
Mr. Klain said distributing the vaccines is hard, and said the American people would have more confidence in the distribution of immunizations when Mr. Biden’s team would receive a briefing by Trump administration officials.
Moncef Slaoui, who oversees vaccine development for the White House, told CNN on Sunday that he thinks the American people could begin receiving immunizations in approximately three weeks.
Mr. Slaoui told ABC that he had no contact with members of Mr. Biden’s burgeoning transition.
“We are focused frankly on making sure that the vaccines are made available as quickly as possible and distributed as efficiently as possible, regardless of the political complex that surround us,” Mr. Slaoui told ABC. “Of course, we would hope that transition happen quietly and smoothly and we are here to serve the American people and the American population, and we will do our best.”
When pressed on ABC about whether the lack of communication with Mr. Biden’s team could hamper the nation’s coronavirus response, Mr. Slaoui said he would be available to explain the federal government’s ongoing approach if Mr. Biden’s team wanted to contact him.