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Get ready for this: Trump administration has been lying about the number of vaccines it distributed.

2 min read
CNN reports that the Biden team is greatly concerned that Trump’s public numbers on vaccines are fake and, more critically, it is hard to really know what the current state of play is.  

States across the country say they're running low on coronavirus vaccine supply, with many officials insisting the vaccine delivery numbers reported by the Trump administration don't align with what they are seeing on the ground.

From New York to Tennessee to West Virginia, officials are clamoring for more doses of coronavirus vaccine. And officials in those states said that federal tallies suggesting they have thousands of doses sitting on the shelves don't accurately reflect the supply of vaccine on hand.

The CNN article soft-pedals this a bit — calling the numbers “confusing” — but the article’s eventual quote (below) seems to explain a good deal of it to me and is sort of a classic dodge.  When the Trump team has touted millions of vaccines “distributed,” that did not mean millions of vaccines “shipped” (!)  (Oh, you didn’t ask about vaccines shipped”)  To Team Trump, a vaccine has been “distributed” if the state asks for a number of vaccines and Team Trump has promised one day to make such delivery (you know, “shipped”).  

As of Tuesday afternoon, the CDC's website notes that the term “distributed” refers to the cumulative count of vaccine doses recorded as shipped in the CDC's Vaccine Tracking System.
Yet that has not been the experience in some states.
“The doses distributed means that they've given us a number, we have told them where it needs to go in the system to get sent out, but that does not mean that it's been shipped,” said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease epidemiology, prevention and control for the Minnesota Department of Health.
“The doses shipped, that means we've got a FedEx tracking number and it's left the facility,” Ehresmann said. “The doses distributed are doses that have been promised to the state, that the state has accepted and given a location where those doses should be shipped. And the disconnect is that those doses haven't necessarily arrived in the state.”

Depressingly predictable, and we are worse off than we even thought.  And what is really galling is the same reporting says that the Biden transition team has been reluctant to push too hard for concrete information for fear that the Trump crew would stop sharing any information at all.

I can only imagine the slime and crime that will be found after these guys high-tail it out of town. 

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