Surgeon General says rate of vaccine rollout is increasing

Surgeon General says rate of vaccine rollout is increasing
© getty: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams

Surgeon General Jerome AdamsJerome AdamsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis Biden to name nurse as acting surgeon general: report Judge drops case against former surgeon general over alleged virus restrictions violation MORE pushed back against criticism of the Trump administration's rollout of the vaccines for COVID-19 on Sunday, pointing to improvements that authorities have made nationwide in their efforts to vaccinate as many as possible.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Adams addressed remarks from Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: CPAC fires starting gun on 2024 Trump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike MORE (R-Utah), who called the rate of vaccine distribution in the U.S. "inexcusable." Romney is among other officials who have warned that the U.S. is not yet on track to meet vaccination targets previously set by the Trump administration and health experts.

“I’m telling you that things are changing. 1.5 million doses in the last 72 hours. That’s meaningful change," Adams told CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperEx-Trump press secretary criticized for stirring up QAnon on Twitter Maryland GOP governor says he would have voted to convict Trump Democratic senator defends decision not to call witnesses: 'They weren't going to get more Republican votes' MORE.

“There’s what we delivered, and we hoped that would translate into vaccinations, that has not occurred to the way that we would like,” he continued, noting that the nation's top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Underfunding classics and humanities is dangerous MORE had warned that "this was always going to be the most difficult vaccine rollout in history."

The surgeon general went on to urge Americans to remain hopeful, and urged those who gathered with family members over the holiday to get tested, self-isolate and wear a mask in the days ahead.

His remarks come as rollout of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines for COVID-19 began a few weeks ago. The CDC reported that 4.2 million vaccines have been administered in the U.S. as of Saturday.

More than 350,000 Americans have died from the disease since the pandemic began, and experts project that 150,000 more could die in the next month.