President Joe Biden on Saturday (January 23) warned Americans that COVID will “get worse,” before it gets better.
The United States is the nation hardest-hit by COVID-19, with 24.51 million cases and 409,987 deaths by early Friday morning. More than 4,000 Americans died of the disease on Thursday for the second day in a row.
Even so, vaccine rollout, which the administration of former President Donald Trump left to the states to carry out without a federal blueprint or sufficient funding, has proven to be choppy.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said just 67 percent of healthcare workers in New York have received a vaccine dose and he warned that if the federal government does not find a way to quickly ramp up production, everyone would suffer.
“They then said ‘don’t worry’ they are going to increase the supply,” Cuomo said. “That’s what they said…. They never did,” he added.
The country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Friday the federal government had put too much of the responsibility for distributing the vaccine on state governments.
Instead, he said, the administration should collaborate with the states to help them plan their rollouts and make sure that vaccines got into people’s arms.
Fewer than half of the nearly 38 million vaccine doses shipped to date by the federal government have actually made it into the arms of Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Thursday.
Some individual states have lagged behind with just a third or 40% of their vaccine allotments being administered as of Thursday, which marked the one-year anniversary of the first locally transmitted COVID-19 case documented in the United States.
(Production: Deborah Lutterbeck)