Biden: Trump administration 'falling far behind' on vaccinations

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE is accusing the Trump administration of moving too slowly on coronavirus vaccinations and vowing to get COVID-19 under control in the U.S. in his first 100 days in office.

"The Trump administration's plan to distribute vaccines is falling far behind," Biden said Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.

Administration officials had previously predicted there would be 20 million vaccinations by the end of December, but with just two days to go, only about 2 million people have been vaccinated so far, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker. While that is likely an undercount given frequent lags in reporting, the actual number would still be far south of 20 million.


Biden, who has largely avoided day-to-day confrontation with President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE ahead of his swearing-in on Jan. 20, said that as president he will direct a "much more aggressive effort, with more federal involvement and leadership to get things back on track."

He said that would include using the Defense Production Act to a greater extent to free up supplies, a move he has promised in a range of areas, including testing.

Biden is also urging Americans to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his presidency, and he called on the public to make sacrifices, including avoiding "large indoor gatherings," to slow the spread of the virus, striking a very different tone from Trump, who has railed against restrictions and lockdowns amid the pandemic.

While applauding Congress for finally acting on last week's coronavirus relief package, Biden said more aid would be necessary.

"I'll propose a COVID action package early next year and challenge Congress to act on it quickly," he said. Congressional Republicans have made no commitments on a further round of relief and stimulus.

More broadly, Biden warned that the next weeks and months will be tough before a vaccine is widely available, as hospitals are strained in the short term.


"Things are going to get worse before they get better," he said.

The vaccination campaign is where Biden took perhaps his sharpest tone. Under the current pace, he said, "it's going to take years, not months, to vaccinate the American people."

He is pushing for 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days, which he said would require a pace five to six times as fast, in the "greatest operational challenge we've ever faced as a nation."