Biden calls vaccine rollout a 'dismal failure' so far, sets goal of 100 million doses in 100 days

Josh Haskell Image
Friday, January 22, 2021
Biden aims for 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in 100 days
President Joe Biden is wasting no time addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. He signed a series of executive orders to jump start his national strategy to fight the virus.

WASHINGTON (KABC) -- President Joe Biden said Thursday help is on the way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and reopen the economy - but because a clear national plan has been absent, Biden says it will get worse before it gets better.

On his first full day in office, Biden issued another flurry of executive actions aimed at fighting what he calls a war against the pandemic.

"Four hundred thousand Americans have died. That's more than have died in all of World War II," Biden said. "This is a wartime undertaking."

"While the vaccine provides so much hope, the rollout has been a dismal failure thus far."

The Biden administration has set an ambitious goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open 100 vaccination centers by next month and the Biden administration will tackle the economic and racial inequities of coronavirus by creating a health equity task force.

RELATED: President Biden pushes to reopen schools within 100 days as part of COVID-19 response

President Joe Biden is pledging to reopen most K-12 schools within 100 days -- an ambitious goal as Covid cases surge and teachers across the country fight some plans to reopen.

"Addressing vaccine hesitancy and building trust in communities as well as fighting disinformation campaigns that are already underway," said Biden. "Above all, our plan is to restore public trust. We will make sure that scientists and public health experts will speak directly to you. That's why you're going to be hearing a lot more from Dr. Fauci again. Not, from the president."

To help kick start Biden's national strategy, the president signed 10 executive orders, including encouraging all Americans to wear a mask for the next 99 days, calling it a patriotic act that will save more than 50,000 lives by April. Anyone flying to the United States from another country will need a negative test before departing and must quarantine upon arrival.

And the new administration will expand testing to help schools and businesses reopen. To achieve all of this, especially expanding vaccinations, the president will need help from Congress to fund his $1.9 trillion pandemic plan. Even with all the challenges, the president said the pandemic will be defeated.

"The more people we vaccinate and the faster we do it, the sooner we can put this pandemic behind us and the sooner we can build our economy back and build it back better," Biden said. "And get back to our lives and to our loved ones."

WATCH: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki details executive orders signed by Pres. Biden

White House press secretary Jen Psaki discusses President Joe Biden's first-day executive action carried out after his inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20.