Privately, however, White House officials have been trying to cope with the political implications of a pandemic-weary nation that is increasingly reluctant to accept scientific caution – and where a significant portion of the population is already stubbornly skeptical of vaccines.
Democrats admitted that the government’s move would have a “chilling effect” on the national vaccination campaign, even if the government tried to counter it. Officials on Tuesday assured states struggling with recent Covid infection spikes that their entire vaccination operation would not be slowed. They asked questions about how tens of thousands of vaccine appointments can be rebooked and what that means for the overall vaccine supply. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control briefed members of congressional committees and senior White House health officials placed a call with public health partners as well as a group of black doctors. By the evening, the Covid Response Team had organized a call to the Community Corps, where executives from across the country were working on vaccine reluctance in their local communities. There were more than 1,800 participants.
In the midst of these conversations, they also fought criticism from everyone like Donald Trump of Twitter chair analysts who questioned the decision itself and how the administration dealt with the news behind it.
“It’s confusing when news comes from the White House. The Biden administration has done an excellent job, no question about it,” said Rebecca Katz, a progressive strategist, referring to the White House talking points which emphasize that the J & J vaccine made up only 5 percent of US vaccinations so far. “Because there is hesitation out there, you have to be very, very clever and concise in that language. It’s not that.”
White House officials denied that assessment, saying their number one command on Tuesday was to answer the number one question that the vast majority of Americans face: Could they still get a vaccine? Tens of millions of Americans are waiting to be vaccinated, and all adults 18 and older are ready to be approved for shooting in the next week. The Biden administration wanted to make it clear that Americans should keep booking their vaccine appointments, a senior White House official said. Failure to clarify this can lead to a drop in vaccination rates. According to the company, this is crucial in containing the spread of the virus.
On the hill, the Democrats defended the government’s decision, underscoring the White House’s commitment to science, and repeatedly stressing the need for vaccinations. At the same time, they recognized that promoting adverse side effects in the J&J shots could undermine efforts to gain the trust of vaccine doubters.
“I am concerned about the possible reluctance this could create and we will work even harder to overcome whatever comes from it.” [those] Reservations, “said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Admitted, “There is a chilling effect, so there is no question that this is not helping our efforts to sell the effectiveness of these vaccines.” However, the White House is consistent.
“Biden knew 100 percent from the start that he would make decisions based on science and medicine, not politics,” Murphy said. “If the FDA scientists think there is a reason to stop and look, they must follow their advice.”
But even as he devastated Biden’s domestic politics, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell beat Biden over the vaccine. Declining to criticize the government’s decision-making, McConnell said, “There are two other alternatives and I would encourage anyone to get vaccinated.”
However, the J&J development has challenged the White House on several fronts. And the question arose whether the president and his team were too optimistic about the potential of the vaccine to end the Covid fight.
Just a month ago, Biden announced plans to purchase an additional 100 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses by the end of the year to offer the option to vaccinate children or act as a booster to combat variants. However, last week the company had significant manufacturing issues at a Baltimore facility that made the vaccine and the White House Covid Response Team warned it would slow production. On Tuesday, Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical officer, estimated it could be days to weeks before the J&J footage is available again.
Coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients reiterated the setbacks at J&J would not affect overall vaccine supplies, saying the White House had approached the pandemic like a war event and was working on multiple lanes to top up its dose supply in anticipation of possible quantities Setbacks.
“We are at war with the virus,” Zients said at a briefing at the White House on Tuesday. “We mobilized the war effort to prepare for a variety of scenarios.”
Officials argued that the interference by the FDA and CDC should bolster their case for vaccine safety by showing that they will take every precaution, even if the data shows adverse effects are extremely rare. In this case, six cases of rare blood clotting as a result of the J&J vaccine were reported from more than 6.8 million doses.