During the CNN town hall, Biden said that one of the biggest challenges in distributing the COVID-19 vaccine is that many people in Hispanic and black communities don’t know how to use the internet to find out where to get their shots.
“A lot of people don’t know how to register. Not everybody in the community, in the Hispanic and the African-American community, particularly in rural areas that are distant and, or inner-city districts know how to use, know how to get online to determine how to get in line for that COVID vaccination at the Walgreens,” Biden said.
Biden’s answer was in response to a question from Dr. Dessie Levy, a registered nurse, who asked about vaccine rollout and concerns that black Americans are being vaccinated at a lower rate than white Americans.
“There is some history of blacks being used as guinea pigs in other experiments, as I need not tell you, doctor, over the last 50 to 75 to 100 years in America, so there’s a concern about getting the vaccine whether it’s available or not. But the biggest part of it is access, physical access,” Biden said.
Biden said with the help of the Congressional Black Caucus, his administration will focus on distributing vaccines to community health centers in minority neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID to get “a million doses a week” delivered.
“We have opened up and I’m making sure that there’s doses of vaccine for over 6,700 pharmacies, because almost everyone lives within, not always walking distance, but within the distance of being able to go to the pharmacy, like when you got your flu shot,” Biden said.
Biden also said the administration is using mobile vans to deliver vaccines to neighborhoods where people may have a difficult time traveling to the nearest pharmacy.
“The fact is if you’re 70 years old, you don’t have a vehicle, and you live in a tough neighborhood, meaning it’s a high concentration of COVID, you’re not likely be able to walk five miles to go get a vaccine,” he said.
“We’re also committed to spending $1 billion on public education to help people figure out how they can get in there. That’s why we’re also trying to set up mass vaccination centers, like places in stadiums and the like,” Biden continued.
“Are you concerned about the rollout of this online?” host Anderson Cooper asked.
Biden responded by criticizing the Trump administration. “We inherited a circumstance here where … a circumstance where, number one, there weren’t many vaccinators. You didn’t know where you could go get a vaccine administered to you because there was no one to put it in your arm, number one. Number two, there was very little federal guidance, as to say what to look for, how to find out where, in fact, you could go,” he said.