Biden criticizes Trump over vaccination pace

US President-elect: It's going to take years, not months, to vaccinate the American people.

Ben Ariel ,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday criticized the Trump administration for the pace of distributing COVID-19 vaccines, saying it is “falling far behind.”

"As I long feared and warned, the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should," he said in remarks from Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden warned, "It's going to take years, not months, to vaccinate the American people" if the pace does not quicken.

He said he will use his power under the Defense Production Act to order private companies to accelerate manufacturing of materials for vaccines and personal protective gear. The president-elect also said his incoming administration will roll out a public education campaign to persuade Americans to get the vaccine and will be putting forth to Congress a coronavirus relief plan in early 2021.

"We're going to get through this," he said. "Brighter days are coming, but it's going to take all the grit and determination we have as Americans to get it done."

Trump later responded to Biden on Twitter and wrote, “It is up to the States to distribute the vaccines once brought to the designated areas by the Federal Government. We have not only developed the vaccines, including putting up money to move the process along quickly, but gotten them to the states. Biden failed with Swine Flu!”

The vaccination campaign in the US began earlier this month. The FDA and CDC have approved both the Pfizer vaccine as well as the Moderna vaccine.

Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on live television last Monday.

Several days earlier, Vice President Mike Pence became the highest-ranking US government official to receive the vaccine, doing so on live television in order to bolster public confidence.