President Biden has a goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses during his first 100 days in office. It's not a very lofty goal considering the U.S. was already administering about a million doses per day when Biden became president. Like everything with Biden, the bar has been set pretty low. But many are unhappy with the current pace of vaccines and are calling on the administration to aim a bit higher.
During a Monday press conference, Biden said his administration was hoping to increase vaccinations to 1.5 million doses per day. The following day, however, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tempered that expectation by saying the president was simply being optimistic and that a goal of 1.5 million daily doses was not concrete. The Biden administration has since made a request to the Pentagon seeking assistance with boosting current vaccine efforts.
"The Department of Defense has received a request from FEMA for assistance in administering COVID-19 vaccine at various locations across the country. The Department is evaluating the request, and what kinds of support it can provide," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby acknowledged in a statement.
The FEMA spokesperson said on Wednesday that service members could be deployed to as many as 100 sites across the nation in an effort to step up vaccine efforts.
Kirby said the request "will be reviewed urgently but carefully."
Critics have accused the Biden administration of simply repackaging the vaccine plan they inherited from the previous administration. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) accused the current administration of trying to gaslight the American people.
"They're not telling the truth here," said Crenshaw. "There's always been a good plan in place."
The Trump administration prioritized the development and distribution of vaccines for COVID-19 through Operation Warp Speed. It's the reason two effective vaccines against COVID-19 have been developed and are now being distributed long before many experts thought possible.