We knew on day two of Joe Biden’s presidency that his goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans by his 100th day in office was setting the bar too low. By that date, 16.5 million shots had gone out, 6.5 million alone in the six days beforehand, and the daily rate of shots was growing at a rapid clip. Biden supercharged the effort by directing federal agencies to wield the powerful Defense Production Act to accelerate manufacture of vaccines, PPE and other COVID supplies.
Now Biden’s setting a new goal, aiming to vaccinate 200 million Americans by May 1, nearly two-thirds of the country’s population. But just like his earlier goal, 200 million doses in the next five weeks isn’t particularly ambitious.
More than 130 million shots have already been done. The U.S. is averaging 2.5 million daily, a rate that’s nearly tripled under Biden. Even if the pace stopped accelerating, the 200-million milestone would be done a full week before his 100th day in office. Biden should aim higher.