(White House Press Release, November 17, 2020)
Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence led a discussion with the chief executives and senior leaders of approximately 50 states, territories, and the city of Washington, DC, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to discuss local, state, and federal COVID-19 response and recovery efforts including the continued collaboration on vaccine distribution and administration planning.
The Vice President discussed with governors the ongoing robust coordination with state and local governments in preparing to distribute a safe and effective vaccine. The Vice President also updated governors on the unprecedented medical and supply mobilization to support state and hospital needs.
FEMA Administrator Gaynor and General Sanford of DOD provided an update on key medical supply chain and stockpiles management. The Vice President previously asked governors to work with their state emergency managers and health teams to build a 60-day state stockpile of PPE and key supplies and to ensure healthcare providers quality and timely reporting of supplies at the provider-level (e.g., hospital, long-term care facility) to help support data-driven decision-making to ensure data-drive decisions on healthcare supplies and support. The Federal government has worked towards building a 90-day Federal stockpile for PPE and supplies, and establishing ongoing protocols to replenish the stockpile.
Dr. Fauci and Administrator Hahn provided an update on vaccine development and reminded governors about the multi-layered, transparent, and independent vaccine approval process. Commissioner Hahn also provided an update on the authorization of monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for COVID-19. Director Redfield provided an update on state vaccine distribution plans and ongoing CDC technical assistance efforts. Secretary Azar and Operation Warp Speed Ostrowski provided an update on vaccine distribution and administrative planning. All 64 public health jurisdictions submitted their vaccine distribution microplans to the CDC in October, and the CDC reviewed and provided feedback on these iterative documents.
Administrator Verma provided an update on the comprehensive payment and funding plan allowing all Americans to access an eventual vaccine at no cost. CMS has also taken proactive measures to remove regulatory barriers and ensure consistent coverage and payment for the administration of an eventual vaccine.
Ambassador Birx provided an update on data and trends from across the Nation and discussed engagement meeting with state, local, tribal, and community leaders.
Participants from the White House Coronavirus Task Force:
- Vice President Mike Pence
- Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator
- Administrator Pete Gaynor, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HHS
- Administrator Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS
- Director Anthony Fauci, M.D., National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, HHS
- Director Robert Redfield, M.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS
- Brigadier General David Sanford, Defense Supply Center & Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, DOD
- Paul Ostrowski, Director for Supply, Production & Distribution, Operation Warp Speed (OWS)
Since January 2020, the Trump Administration has organized and hosted 41 governors-only briefings to drive effective communication and collaboration at every level of government. Public health incidents, like natural disasters, are locally-executed, State-managed, and Federally-supported. This is likely the most robust Federal-State collaboration in our Nation’s history.