Biden team finds promises hard to make -- let alone keep

Speaking on television last week, 博士. Anthony Fauci predicted April would beopen season for receiving the coronavirus vaccine, welcome news for a nation entering its second year under pandemic-forced lockdowns and ever-lingering fear of disease.

Virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated,” Fauci said optimistically.
一周之后, the timeline had moved back at least one monthpossibly twolaying bare the risks for 总统拜登 and his administration in making precise promises amid a crisis that defies easy solutions or clean answers.
On key questionssuch as when every American who wants a vaccine can get one, when all students can return to classrooms and when life can gain a semblance of normalcyBiden has either demurred or offered only a partial projection, admitting he does not want to over-commit and later be held to blame. That comes in stark contrast to his predecessor, who began predicting the end of the crisis practically as soon as it started.
    His approach only seemed to be reinforced this week after disappointingand to some officials, surprisingnews from Johnson & 约翰逊. Fauci tempered hisopen seasonexpectations after private conversations between federal health officials and employees at the drug manufacturer, which revealed it expected to have fewer doses of its vaccine available if it is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.
    That was predicated on J&Ĵ — the Johnson producthaving considerably more doses than now we know they’re going to have,” Fauci said this week in explaining his initial April target, adding he now believes restrictions for who’s eligible for a vaccine will fall off inmid-to-late May and early June.
    A person familiar with the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions, told CNN the more bullish public comments were a reflection of private, optimistic conversations between the administration and Johnson & 约翰逊. Because the company was more hopeful in recent weeks about what to expect in April, officials were, 太 — and their public statements reflected it.
    But expectations for a massive surge of doses were dashed when Johnson & Johnson tempered its projections. The company is still wrestling with upping production at its facility in Baltimore, and the government now believes there will be fewer than 7 million doses of its vaccine available initially if it’s authorized, as expected, in coming weeks.
    约翰逊 & Johnson has a contractual obligation to provide the federal government with 100 million doses by the end of June.
    We’re doing everything we can, working with the company, to accelerate their delivery schedule,” Biden’s coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said.

    Instructive lesson

    The episode with Johnson & Johnson proved instructive for some inside the White House, who remain eager to provide the public with good news on vaccine supplies and a trend toward normalcy but have grown wary of making promises they can’t keep.
    Biden will visit a Pfizer plant in Michigan on Friday, hoping to underscore the administration’s efforts to get doses into the arms of Americans quickly. The US has purchased 300 million doses of that company’s vaccine, and it plans to deliver them earlier than initially expected. But even with big commitments and accelerated timelines, Biden is still cautious of naming a firm date by which every American who wants a shot can get one.
    What concrete goals Biden has set, including vaccinating 1 million Americans per day, have been exceedingly cautious, since the US was nearly meeting that goal when Biden took office.
    And otherssuch as his vow to have enough vaccines available for nearly every American by the end of Julycome with serious caveats. He has said even by that date many Americans will still need to wait given shortages in personnel and paraphernalia to administer the shots.
    At least on schools, Biden has blamed communication errors for the muddled timeline, though even now it remains unclear when the administration believes all studentsincluding those in high schoolmight be able to return to classrooms.
    But elsewhere, Biden and his team are finding that even following the science and listening to expertsboth things they made central to his campaign pitchdoesn’t make for clean or direct answers to the questions that Americans are desperate for nearly a year into the pandemic.
    There is no precise answer,” White House Covid-19 response senior adviser Andy Slavitt said during an event with 华盛顿邮报 星期四. “I don’t mean this in a political way, but I think we’ve lived for a year with a lot of overpromises, a lot of the solutions are around the corner, this is going away, 等等, 等等. And I think we are very sensitive and very reluctant to try to overpromise.

    Realistic goals

    Biden asked when US will get back to normal. Hear his response


      Biden asked when US will get back to normal. Hear his response


    Biden asked when US will get back to normal. Hear his response 02:54

    Biden’s aides say he is being realistic amid an unpredictable and unprecedented health crisis, and does not want to raise Americanshopes when they could easily be dashed again by manufacturing snafus, reemerging variants or other unseen hiccups in returning the country to normal.
    He’s also taken to heart the experience of the previous administration, which offered various deadlines for reopening andflattening the curvethat came and went, often without scientific basis.
    At the onset of the crisis, Trump offered the rosily-named “15 Days to Slow the Spreadin the hopes the outbreak would last only a matter of weeks. When it became clear that wasn’t happening, Trump extended the guidelines to 30 天, but still offered timelines with little to back them up.
    He told Americans he wanted the countryopened up and just raring to go by Easter” — a timeline that administration health experts privately questioned. When that date came and went, 官员 — including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushnerpinned their hopes on summer.
    I think you’ll see by June that a lot of the country should be back to normal, and the hope is that by July the country’s really rocking again,” Kushner said last spring.
    那, 太, turned out to be wrong as cases began spiking and states maintained their lockdowns.
    By October, as his reelection campaign was sputtering, Trump was saying the country wasrounding the curve,” even as cases began to skyrocket. Biden used the detached-from-science predictions to claim his rival wasn’t being straight with the American people.
    Be careful not to predict things that you don’t know for certain what’s going to happen because then you’ll be held accountable,” Biden said during CNN’s town hall on Tuesday, describing the advice he said he’d received from health experts such as Fauci.
    He made the observation when answering a question about when the country would return to normal, which he targeted for Christmasnearly a year away. That is further than an autumn target once offered by Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, though even Fauci acknowledged on Wednesday that predictingnormalcywas a matter of guesswork.
    It’s perfectly reasonable to say that. 我们不知道,” he said of Biden’s Christmas projection during an interview on CNN. “The President made an estimate, which I think is a quite reasonable estimate.
    A day after Biden’s town hall, 然而, the White House said even Biden’s Christmastime prediction shouldn’t be taken as an absolute commitment.
    We are not in a place where we can predict exactly when everybody will feel normal again,” press secretary Jen Psaki said.

    Broadest projections

    Biden says teachers should be on 'list of preferred' to get Covid-19 vaccination


      Biden says teachers should be on ‘list of preferredto get Covid-19 vaccination


    Biden says teachers should be on ‘list of preferredto get Covid-19 vaccination 01:24

    在某些情况下, Biden and his team’s caution in offering anything except the broadest projections on how and when his efforts to contain the pandemic will materialize have caused confusion.
    The White House stance on reopening schools became muddled when Psaki, in explaining Biden’s pledge, said that could mean only 50% of schools open one day a week.
    Later she said that wasnot the ceilingof the administration’s aspirations, and Biden said Tuesday the confusing White House position came down toa mistake in the communication.
    But the White House has still found itself caught between the desire to reopen in order to allow parents to return to work and teachers unions advocating for members wary of returning to classrooms without stringent protections against the virus.
    Even Biden’s attempts at clarifying did not offer a date by which he believed every American student could return to in-person learning. He said his goal was to have grades K-8 in classrooms five days a week within his first 100 天任总裁, but could not offer a similar goal for students in high school.
      And in interviews later, the administration couldn’t explicitly say whether vaccinating teachers should be a prerequisite for reopening schools, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its guidelines was not the case.
      These are really hard things that there aren’t clear answers to,” said Jim Messina, who was a deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama before managing his reelection campaign. “And you saw a President who is going to continue to be very honest with the country even if some people don’t want to hear it.




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