Tags: Coronavirus | Joe Biden | azar | hhs | transition | vaccine | covid

HHS' Azar: Transition on COVID Will Be 'Professional' If It Happens

alex azar speaks into microphone
HHS Secretary Alex Azar, speaks about Operation Warp Speed with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House on November 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 November 2020 09:23 AM

The Trump administration will work with Joe Biden's transition team on matters concerning the coronavirus pandemic and upcoming distribution of vaccines "when and if it's appropriate," but as for now, the General Services Administration has yet to determine if a transition is in effect, Health and Human Services Administrator Alex Azar said Monday. 

"Our distribution planning is 100% transparent," said Azar on ABC's "Good Morning America." "We have publicized our playbook. We have plans from all 64 public health jurisdictions in the United States on the distribution."

And, he added, once the GSA determines if there is a transition to take place, "we will ensure that it's cooperative and professional, but right now, the American people should be reassured that we're moving ahead in collaboration with all of our states and local authorities to make sure the vaccine distribution works well."

Biden's incoming Chief of Staff Ron Klain said this weekend that the presumptive president-elect's scientific advisers have reached out to Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies and will start consultations with them this week, even though the Trump administration is not yet working with the transition team. 

Azar said the Trump administration is working with all jurisdictions nationwide, "which will make the prioritization" and will ship the vaccine where they determine it should go. 

"My focus is on vaccines," said Azar, adding that it is important for Americans to continue to "act responsibly, wash your hands, wear face coverings, and be careful of indoor settings" while the hope of first the Pfizer vaccine and now Moderna grows, and with the government approving Eli Lilly's antibody treatment on an emergency use basis. 

Azar also insisted that there is no need to shut down the economy or schools, and holiday celebrations can be held, but still, he wants everyone to make it to the time when a safe and effective vaccine is plentiful.  

"We've put up guidance from the CDC," he said. "There is a range of risk from different types of activities and given very good practical advice about you want to think about how many people are at your gathering, is it just household members or others also there? The more people you have, the more risk, the more you want to make sure you have social distance and wear face coverings."

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The Trump administration will work with Joe Biden's transition team on matters concerning the coronavirus pandemic and upcoming distribution of vaccines "when and if it's appropriate," but as for now...
azar, hhs, transition, vaccine, covid, biden
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2020-23-16
Monday, 16 November 2020 09:23 AM
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