Donald Trump planned just 200,000 a day.
More than 2 million coronavirus vaccine doses were administered each day over the weekend, as the Biden administration ramped up the inoculation process. That is more than 10 times the pace Donald Trump promised during his unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign.
According to the New York Times tracker, 2,218,752 doses of the vaccine were given out on Saturday and 2,172,973 on Sunday. This has raised the daily average to about 1.4 million a day.
This increased pace has been a priority for President Joe Biden and his team — and puts them well ahead of his stated promise of "100 million Covid-19 shots in the arms of the American people" in his first 100 days in office. He has since upped his goal to 150 million doses in that time.
Trump made a big deal of his administration's "Operation Warp Speed" effort to help some pharmaceutical companies develop coronavirus vaccines. He lavished praise on himself, predicting in December that, "Years from now, they'll be talking about it, they'll be talking about this great, great thing that we did with the vaccines. A truly unprecedented, amazing medical miracle."
But his administration did little to prepare to actually distribute the vaccinations. "The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Biden White House chief of staff Ron Klain told NBC News last month.
In fact, during his first debate against Biden, Trump set a goal that was actually less than one-tenth of the weekend's pace.
"Well, we're going to deliver it right away. We have the military all set up. Logistically, they're all set up. We have our military that delivers soldiers and they can do 200,000 a day," he boasted. "They're going to be delivering. It's all set up."
At that rate, vaccinating 330 million Americans with the two-dose regimen would have taken about nine years.
Trump's administration later upped its goal to 20 million doses in 2020 — a goal they did not come close to meeting.
So far, more than 31.5 million Americans have received the first dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 9.1 million of those have already received the second dose as well.
A previous version of this story said President Joe Biden's new goal for vaccinations in his first 100 days of office is 1.5 million. It is actually 150 million vaccinations, up from 100 million.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.