• Joe Biden has pledged to try and achieve 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses administered during the first 100 days of his new presidential administration.
  • White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has weighed in and said that goal is “absolutely a doable thing.”
  • To date, since the US began administering coronavirus vaccine doses in mid-December, only 16.3 million COVID doses have been administered in the US.

Ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, the scale of the coronavirus pandemic was already worrying enough — at least 199,700 new COVID0-19 cases and 2,960 virus-related deaths every day, per a seven-day average of Johns Hopkins University data calculated by CNBC.

In the hours before Biden was to take the oath of office, though, his team was already reportedly worried that Trump’s people may only have revealed “the tip of the iceberg,” in the words of one Biden transition official, in terms of how dire the US pandemic situation really is. Indeed, this will largely be the thing Biden’s first-term performance is measured against as the end of his first term nears. That no matter what else he gets right, in other words, it was the COVID-19 crisis that helped sweep him into office and demands to be solved. But while the scale of the challenge is immense and daunting, there’s at least one key expert who already thinks Biden will get there and that his plans regarding the coronavirus vaccine and more are perfectly doable — White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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Dr. Fauci (who accepted an invitation to stay on and work with the Biden administration as it tries to get the coronavirus pandemic under control, where Trump officials could not) gave his stamp of approval to Biden’s ambitious plans to quickly ramp up COVID vaccinations in the US.

Dr. Fauci made his comments earlier this week during an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, when he said that US regulators will likely approve two new COVID vaccines soon — from AstraZeneca as well as Johnson & Johnson. And, also, that Biden’s goal of 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine administered to Americans within the first 100 days of the new presidency is “absolutely a doable thing.”

Even better, Dr. Fauci — who also serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — said the Biden team’s ambition of getting most Americans vaccinated quickly would also provide adequate protection against the new coronavirus strains that have arisen. “If we can get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, we’d be in very good shape and could beat even the mutant,” he said.

According to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker, 16.3 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in the US since the start of vaccinations here in mid-December. Meanwhile, the latest COVID data from Johns Hopkins University shows that more than 24.2 million coronavirus cases have been identified in the US, along with more than 402,000 deaths.

“One thing that’s clear is that the issue of getting 100 million doses in the first 100 days is absolutely a doable thing,” Dr. Fauci said. “The feasibility of his goal is absolutely clear. There’s no doubt about that, that that can be done.”

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Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.