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Setting the Record Straight on the Trump Administration’s COVID Response | Opinion

Daniel Schludi MAGZNECMcUg Unsplash Test 20 10
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Paul Mango was the Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2019-2021. During this time, he served as Secretary Azar’s formal liaison to Operation Warp Speed where he was involved in nearly all strategic, operational, and financial aspects of the program, and facilitated its day-to-day activities among the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, and the White House. Prior to his role as Deputy Chief of Staff, Mango served from 2018-2019 as the Chief of Staff at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Last Thursday, during her daily White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki revived a familiar Biden administration refrain. She claimed the Trump-led Operation Warp Speed team left the Biden team with “no plan” to acquire, distribute or administer hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccines. Of course, such derision is not new. Psaki was parroting the politically divisive rhetoric initiated by Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of Biden’s Coronavirus Advisory Board, less than 24 hours after Trump left office in January of 2021.

As I describe in my book, Warp Speed: Inside the Operation That Beat Covid, the Critics, and the Odds, the Biden transition team never showed up for a single in-person briefing between the formal initiation of the presidential transition on November 23, 2020, and Inauguration Day on January 20, 2021. I am perplexed as to how its members would even know whether there was a plan or not. We were told the Biden team members were fearful of potential COVID-19 transmission. One can only imagine what the Operation Warp Speed team—co-led capably by scores of combat veterans and other government officials who showed up as a matter of duty every single day during multiple outbreaks throughout 2020—thought of the incoming team putting its personal safety above the country’s best interests.

As for plans to distribute doses and vaccinate hundreds of millions of Americans, a combination of the Army Materiel Command and the Centers for Disease Control developed, evaluated and tested a 60-plus page, federal operating plan for Operation Warp Speed. It was first posted on September 15, 2020.

The full article can be found in Newsweek.

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