Way back in the nebulous "before" times of December 2020, Joe Biden, then the president-elect, made what at the time seemed like an unimaginably grandiose promise: He would oversee the then-unthinkable distribution of 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines within his first 100 days in office.
"My first 100 days won’t end the COVID-19 virus. I can't promise that,” Biden said at the time. But, he continued optimistically, "I'm absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better."
Now, months later, Biden appears poised to beat his own self-imposed vaccination timeline — and handily. With distribution skyrocketing from 900,000 doses per day at the start of his administration, to nearly triple that number today, according to Bloomberg, the Biden administration is at a pace now that could see not 100 million doses given within his first 100 days, but possibly double that number, if the trend continues apace.
As of Thursday, the CDC reported 113,037,627 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across the United States since mid-December, when the vaccine rollout began in earnest. The vast majority of those inoculations have been delivered during Biden's time in office. Indeed, to give a sense of the pace with which vaccines have begun to move from pharmaceutical labs into people's arms, consider that at the start of March, the total number of shots given was around just 75 million, per Bloomberg.
While the Trump administration had offered similarly grandiose predictions about vaccination numbers, Biden's unmistakable success in actual distribution is both a product of the (debatably) legitimate groundwork laid out by his predecessor's Operation Warp Speed and a concerted effort by the Biden administration to ensure a robust national stockpile. And while availability of vaccines and actual administration of doses are decidedly different benchmarks, the Biden team is encouraged enough by the progress that they've set this coming 4th of July as target date for life returning to some semblance of limited normalcy.
In the meantime, former President Donald Trump, who kept his own inoculation this past January a secret at the time, encouraged his supporters to "go get your shot" during an interview with Fox News this week. Fortunately for him, his successor has been working diligently to ensure all those Trumpers can do just that.