According to the COVID Tracking Project, there were an average of 178,000 cases and 2,280 deaths a day over the past week, despite the fact that the data was disrupted during the vacation. More than 125,000 people are being hospitalized with the disease.
Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said Friday that the federal government needs to step up its vaccination planning and management efforts. Efforts to date “have been painfully lagging,” he said, urging the Trump administration to set up vaccination centers in schools across the country. So far, the federal government has relied on pharmacies and hospitals to manage the majority of Covid-19 recordings.
“The fact that no comprehensive vaccination plans were developed at the federal level and sent as models to the federal states is just as incomprehensible as it is inexcusable,” said Romney.
By December 30, states had received 12.4 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. However, according to CDC data, only 2.8 million people have received the first of two vaccinations.
While the data is likely to lag behind the actual number of vaccinations, federal officials have acknowledged the country missed the Trump administration’s end-of-year target of 20 million shots in the guns.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who sits on Pfizer’s board of directors, has repeatedly urged the government to use all available doses of Covid-19 vaccines quickly, rather than withhold half, to ensure that for those who received a starting dose , second doses are available.
Earlier this week, a new variant of Covid-19 was discovered in California, Colorado and Florida, which was first discovered in the UK and appears more transmissible – but not fatal.
“I think we need a sense of urgency,” Gottlieb told CNBC’s Closing Bell on Thursday. “And in my opinion, the new variant increases this risk. Because if we cannot control this epidemic wave any faster – and the vaccine is a tool for this – then this new variant has more opportunity to spread further. “