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A CNN medical expert urged the government to roll out “mass vaccination events” to get the coronavirus vaccine to more Americans as quickly as possible.
Reacting to reports that the number of people vaccinated in the U.S. so far is lower than was projected, CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner called for a more aggressive response from the federal government, suggesting that the COVID-19 vaccine should be administered to at least two million people “a day.”
The former Bush White House medical adviser joined Dr. Ashish Jha on CNN’s “Out Front” Wednesday, speaking with Bianna Golodryga, who was filling in for host Erin Burnett, as they discussed the vaccine rollout.
“When it comes to the vaccine, the numbers, they don’t lie. Nearly 2.6 million vaccine doses given, a far cry from the 20 million that had been promised,” Golodryga said. “The head of Operation Warp Speed says that we know that it should be better. At least he’s being forthcoming about that. Do you see enough urgency right now to fix this?”
“Absolutely not,” Reiner replied, calling to mind the “horrible rollout for testing” earlier in the pandemic.
“There needs to be a fierce urgency to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in this country. And I just don’t see it… ,” he added. “We need to give, with these two-dose vaccines, 500 million vaccines and we need to do it quickly. We need mass vaccination events. We need to use the parking lots of baseball stadiums. We need drive-through events. We need arenas. We need to take the vaccine into the community. Telling people just to go to your nearest store isn’t going to get us where we need to be.”
Jha agreed, claiming that other countries have more of a “sense of urgency” than the U.S.
“The biggest difference between us and the other countries is what Dr. Reiner said, basically a sense of urgency to do this,” Jha, the recently named dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island, said.
“In other countries, they’re not spending their time fighting about whether it’s the states’ responsibility or not. They’re not passing the buck. Much of the administration has spent much of today and yesterday saying that the problem is that we have 50 states failing at their job,” he added.
“That’s one theory. My theory is we have a federal government that’s not providing adequate support. It’s not 50 failed governors. It’s really a failed federal leadership that’s really not doing what needs to be done,” he claimed.
Joe Biden has vowed his potential administration will vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office.
“I don’t think it’s optimistic enough,” Reiner responded.
“One hundred people in 100 days is a million people a day. I think we need to do twice that number a day. A million people a day only gets us to what we think is herd immunity in 18 months. That’s a lot of people dying between now and then,” the cardiologist continued.
“If you want to vaccinate 80 percent of the population in the next 10 to 12 months, we need to vaccinate 2 million people a day. And to do that, we need out-of-the-box thinking. We need to learn how to do this quickly, in large numbers, not just by people strolling into their local CVS,” he declared. “We need big events. We need to go into the communities.”
Reiner reiterated his views on Thursday as he spoke on CNN’s “New Day” where co-host Alisyn Camerota insisted that other nations “are doing this better.”
“We need a sense of urgency. We’ve been waiting, you know, for a vaccine and magically, like a gift from God, we actually get two vaccines that are spectacularly effective. And we’re just sort of leisurely administering them in the United States,” Reiner said, blatantly failing to note the role the president played in fast-tracking the development of the vaccine.
“We need mass events and we need to vaccinate on a large scale,” he continued.
“We’ve seen…thousands of cars lined up for food giveaways. We know how to do that. We can do vaccines the same way. We need large events at football stadiums and racetracks. We need to go into mass vaccination mode and we need to do it now,” Reiner added.
“We need to give, with a two-dose vaccine, about half a billion shots in the next year. We need to be vaccinating about 2 million people a day to do that. Two million people a day, as opposed to 150,000 people a day. And I just don’t see the urgency.”
The medical analyst also backed up co-host Jim Sciutto’s criticism of Trump who has allegedly “checked out on the pandemic.”
Reiner claimed the Trump administration, which battled the unprecedented pandemic for months and paved the way for pharmacy companies to roll out the now-touted vaccines, “just didn’t have what it takes” to get the virus under control.
Apparently, Reiner believes the incoming “regime change” of a Biden administration, which he is sure has been “already working” on the effort, will soon magically eliminate the COVID-19 threat.
“Let’s get on with it,” he said.
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