Transcript for Incoming CDC director on how Biden administration will tackle COVID-19
not high enough. Let's bring in Dr. Rochelle walensky who will become director of the CDC when President-Elect Biden takes office tomorrow. Dr. Wall Len ski, thanks for joining us. You don't need senate confirmation so you'll become CDC director tomorrow. What is the first thing you'll do when you take charge. Thank for having me. We need to reset the stage here. We need to make sure that the country, the people understand that this pandemic is now going to be addressed with science, with trust, with transparency, with communication of exactly where we are to the American people. Yes, I will be sworn in tomorrow, but the work has been happening since I was named and we've been working really hard to make sure that we can come in and hit the ground running and make sure that we can get this country back to health. This has been an unusual transition, not a lot of cooperation at the beginning at least of the transition. How big of a challenge is that? You know, I've been working closely with the agency review I have -- that team has been really helpful for me in trying to get up to speed with where we are, certainly communication in many of the other agencies might have been better but we have been hitting the ground running and that's how we intend to move forward. President-Elect Biden hasn't an ambitious goal, 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days. What are you going to need specifically to meet that goal? Right. We have a really ambitious but doable plan. We need to make sure we have the people, the vaccinators on the ground, we are going to, you know, use commissioned medical personnel, military medical personnel and looked retirees and look at upper level nursing students, medical students so we can get enough people to be doing the vaccination. We need to really understand what our supply looks like, how many doses are going to go to which states so that we can really make sure that the eligibility is on track. We don't have long lines, long waits but we're vaccinating people in the proper queue and need to make sure we bring it to the people, to many, many places these will be community vaccination centers, mobile vans, they will be qualified health centers, federally qualified health centers and pharmacies so we need to make it really accessible and all of that plan is underpinned with equity. We need to make sure we're equally and equitably getting the vaccine across the country? That's all common sense. How come it hasn't been done? You know, I don't want to judge where things were. I will say it's been historic that we have two vaccines in less than -- in about a year's time and we have the hard work of making sure those vaccines now get into arms and you're right, I think this plan makes sense and we're looking forward to implementing it. The trump white house overturned travel restrictions in the final hours. President-Elect Biden's press secretary said last night he intends to tighten the restrictions. What should we expect? You know, if you look at the fatalities of 400,000 that were likely to hit today, if you look at our cases across this country, I don't think now is the time to encourage people to get on international flights to encourage people to mobilize. I think now is the time to really buckle down, double down our efforts and so I don't expect that we will be lifting travel restrictions and if anything I think we can expect they might tighten especially in the context of variants that we're hearing about. Dr. Walensky, you have a big challenge ahead. Good luck with.
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