WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Government officials have distributed more than 13 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and so far more than 4 million people have received their first dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But as millions head home from their holiday celebrations, health workers warn the worst may be yet to come.
TSA officials have already screened 15 million people this holiday season, despite warnings from the CDC to avoid travel during the pandemic.
“The airline that I choose to fly is doing a good job taking care of the customers, social distancing, keep seats open,” said traveler Mark Giffard.
“I have senior grandparents, one 90 the other 86, we will not have large fellowship, we want to protect them. We don’t want anything to happen, God forbid, COVID,” said traveler Jamesa Showers.
On the heels of huge New Year’s Eve parties, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it will crack down on what it calls “super-spreader events,” like a concert where thousands gathered to worship without masks.
Medical experts warn holiday traveling and New Year’s parties could lead to another spike in cases.
President Trump tweeted about the death toll, Sunday morning.
“The number of cases and deaths of the China virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @cdcgov’s ridiculous method of determination… fake news!,” said President Trump in a tweet.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert also weighed in.
“Well, the deaths are real deaths. I mean, all you need to do is to go out into the trenches, go to the hospitals, see what the health care workers are dealing with,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci on ABC. “They are under very stressed situations in many areas of the country, the hospital beds are stretched. People are running out of beds, running out of trained personnel who are exhausted right now.”
Through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration is delivering millions of COVID-19 vaccines.
But there’s growing frustration with the rollout. Long lines of people wait hours in Florida to get vaccines. Other states are reporting more calls from appointments than they have supply in stock.
In a statement Republican Senator Mitt Romney criticized the current administration vaccination plan.
“That comprehensive vaccination plans have not been developed at the federal level and sent to the states as models is as incomprehensible as it is inexcusable.
“I have experience organizing a major logistical event but nothing on the scale of what is called for today. Nor do I have any relevant medical or public health experience. But I know that when something isn’t working, you need to acknowledge reality and develop a plan—particularly when hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake.”
In a tweet, President Trump said “The vaccines are being delivered to the states by the Federal Government far faster than they can be administered!”
Dr. Fauci says the pace of vaccinations has picked up in recent days and the United States is currently vaccinating about 500,000 people a day. He says that number needs to be a million a day to reach any sort of normalcy by this summer.