How the U.S. Has Emerged as a Global Leader in the Pandemic Response
It's night and day from where the nation was one year ago
For the last 100 days, President Joe Biden and his top advisers have mounted an urgent, wartime effort to get millions of coronavirus vaccines into the arms of Americans in order to beat back a pandemic that has upended the world for the better part of year.
The effort, described to CNN during in-depth interviews with three of the administration's top COVID advisers and two other White House officials, has allowed the US to go from having one of the worst COVID responses in the world to being a global leader in getting shots in arms. The interviews reveal how the Biden team inherited a pandemic at its zenith with a high demand for vaccines and little supply, along with no long-term plan to vaccinate millions of Americans. The President, at times impatient, pressed his advisers harder on ways to improve the federal government's response to the virus.
Fully aware that success or failure in getting Americans vaccinated would make or break his presidency, Biden and his team set vaccination goals and jump started the federal response to meet them, deploying active-duty military and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help with vaccinations, establishing a federal pharmacy program and funding community health centers, all to increase vaccine access. And the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan helped fund the vaccination effort, too. According to the White House, there are now 70,000 sites around the country where people can get vaccines.
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