Public/Global Health

Bill Gates: Presidential transition ‘complicating’ rollout of COVID-19 vaccine

getty: Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates

Philanthropist Bill Gates warned Sunday that the failure of President Trump to formally recognize his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden and begin a White House transition process is “complicating” efforts to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine to the general public.

Gates told CNN’s “State of the Union” that a lack of communication between the Trump and Biden teams  risked a slower distribution process for the vaccine, which is set to become available for some vaccinations this week.

“Yeah, the transition is complicating [things,] but the new administration is willing to rely on actual experts and not attack those experts,” Gates told host Jake Tapper.

“They’re laying out clear plans, so I think we’ll get through this in a positive way,” the Microsoft co-founder added. “I’m pleased with the people and priority that President-elect Biden and his team are bringing to bear on this problem.”

Gates’s comments refer to ongoing lack of planning occurring between the Biden transition team and White House officials. Administration officials have stuck with Trump’s claims that he won the election and media reports have indicated that many are avoiding discussing the issue with the president.

More than 16 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, and nearly 300,000 deaths have been linked to the virus in the U.S. Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine became available for some elderly citizens in the U.K. last week after it was cleared for use in that country as well.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said Sunday that distribution in the U.S. will “hopefully” begin on Monday, though the vaccine’s availability for the general public is not expected for months.

Tags Donald Trump Jake Tapper Joe Biden Stephen Hahn
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