"I know we have a meeting this coming week and we really look forward to it,” Slaoui said Sunday on CBS “Face the Nation.”Dr. Moncef Slaoui delivers an update on "Operation Warp Speed" in the Rose Garden of the White House on Nov. 13, 2020.Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty ImagesDec. 6, 2020, 3:34 PM UTCBy Jane C. Timm
Operation Warp Speed’s top scientist Moncef Slaoui will meet with President-elect Joe Biden this week about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, the researcher said Sunday.
The meeting is a critical next step in the transition process, which President Donald Trump administration delayed for weeks while falsely claiming that the election he lost was rigged.
“We haven’t had any meetings yet. I know we have a meeting this coming week and we really look forward to it because actually things have been really very appropriately planned,” Slaoui said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
He pushed back, however, on Biden’s claim that there was no detailed plan for the vaccine rollout, suggesting that the “confusion” was because states are responsible for “actually delivering” the vaccine.
“But there are videos, there are explanation exactly how to go about it. We plan to have all the ancillary material, the syringes, the needles, the swabs, everything co-localized with the vaccine. So, I think the plans are there,” he said. “And I feel confident that once we will explain it, everything in detail, I hope the new transition teams will understand that things are well planned.”
President-elect Biden said Friday that “there is no detailed plan that we’ve seen anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe into somebody’s arm.”
Slaoui said the vaccines will ship the minute emergency authorization is granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“If the vaccine is approved on the 10th or the 11th, the minute it’s approved the shipments will start,” he said. “And within, I would say, 36 hours from approval, potentially the first immunization could be taking place.”
He also endorsed Biden’s plan for 100 days of mask wearing in another Sunday morning interview on CNN.
“I think it’s a good idea, it’s never too late. This pandemic is ravaging the country. We all need to take our precaution, wear our masks, wash our hands, keep our distance, remain aware that this virus is a killer,” Slaoui said on CNN.
On “Fox News Sunday,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also pushed back on Biden’s claims that there are no detailed plan for vaccine rollout.
“With all respect, that’s just nonsense,” Azar told host Chris Wallace. “We have comprehensive plans from the CDC, working with 64 public health jurisdictions around the country.”
Despite Trump’s frequent politicization of the concept of masks — and months refusing to wear one publicly himself — Azar was dismissive of Biden’s calls for broader mask-wearing.
“I welcome Vice President Biden to the club,” Azar said.
He did not respond when corrected by Wallace multiple times that Biden is now president-elect.