They’re already showing up. For example:
“President-elect Biden to end Keystone XL pipeline in fight on climate change” (Washington Post)
“Attorney Roberta Kaplan is about to make Txxxx’s life extremely difficult” (Washington Post) [she represents E. Jean Carroll, who’s suing him for defamation, and Mary Trump, who’s suing him for stealing her inheritance]
“Biden taps Warren ally Chopra to lead Consumer Bureau” (Politico)
“Txxxx’s Census Director To Quit After Trying To Rush Out ‘Indefensible’ Report” (NPR)
“Biden to sign executive orders rejoining Paris climate accord and rescinding travel ban on first day” (CNN)
“Biden’s ambitious 100-day plan to erase Txxxx’s legacy” (CNN)
Of course, these stories will remind us of what went before:
I wish I could tell you that the incoming Biden administration had a genius plan for combating Covid-19, thick with ideas no one else had thought of and strategies no one else had tried. But it doesn’t.
What it does have is the obvious plan for combating Covid-19, full of ideas many others have thought of and strategies it is appalling we haven’t yet tried. That it is possible for Joe Biden and his team to release a plan this straightforward is the most damning indictment of the Txxxx administration’s coronavirus response imaginable.
The Txxxx administration seemed to believe a vaccine would solve the coronavirus problem, freeing President Txxxx and his advisers of the pesky work of governance. But vaccines don’t save people; vaccinations do. And vaccinating more than 300 million people, at breakneck speed, is a challenge that only the federal government has the resources to meet. The Txxxx administration, in other words, had it backward. The development of the vaccines meant merely that the most logistically daunting phase of the crisis, in terms of the federal government’s role, could finally begin.
In the absence of a coordinated federal campaign, the job has fallen to overstretched, under-resourced state and local governments, with predictably wan results. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the roughly 31 million doses that have been sent out, about 12 million have been used.
The good news is that the incoming Biden administration sees the situation clearly. “This will be one of the most challenging operational efforts ever undertaken by our country,” Biden said on Friday. “You have my word that we will manage the hell out of this operation.”
The person in charge of managing the hell out of the operation is Jeff Zients . . . In a Saturday briefing with journalists, Zients broke the plan down into four buckets. Loosen the restrictions on who can get vaccinated (and when). Set up many more sites where vaccinations can take place. Mobilize more medical personnel to deliver the vaccinations. And use the might of the federal government to increase the vaccine supply by manufacturing whatever is needed, whenever it is needed, to accelerate the effort. “We’re going to throw the full resources and weight of the federal government behind this emergency,” Zients promised.
Most elements of the plan are surprising only because they are not already happening. Biden’s team members intend to use the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up thousands of vaccination sites in gyms, sports stadiums and community centers, and to deploy mobile vaccination options to reach those who can’t travel or who live in remote places. They want to mobilize the National Guard to staff the effort and ensure that strapped states don’t have to bear the cost. They want to expand who can deliver the vaccine and call up retired medical personnel to aid the campaign. They want to launch a massive public education blitz, aimed at communities skeptical of the vaccine. They’re evaluating how to eke out more doses from the existing supply — there is, for instance, a particular vial that will get you six doses out of a given quantity of Pfizer’s vaccine rather than five, and they are looking at whether the Defense Production Act could accelerate production of that particular vial and other, similarly useful goods.