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Coronavirus: Leadership During Crisis with Andy Slavitt

White House senior advisor Andy Slavitt on the latest COVID-19 efforts (Video: The Washington Post)

Andy Slavitt is the White House senior advisor on the COVID-19 response. As new variants of the virus continue to spread across the U.S., the Biden administration is working to increase the production and delivery of vaccines, create new places for people to get vaccinated and address vaccine hesitancy in diverse communities. Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart will have a one-on-one interview with Slavitt about the goal of 100 million vaccines in 100 days, the challenges of slowing community spread and the latest on COVID-19 relief efforts.

Click here for a transcript of this program.


Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor on COVID-19 response, says since President Biden took office, vaccine supply to states has increased by 58 percent and vaccine delivery has increased from 46 percent to 75 percent. He says the U.S. also now has enough vaccines to vaccinate every American by the end of July. “It’s been a flurry of activities…It’s not fast enough for the public, it’s not fast enough for what we’d like, but we’ve now got the ability to make sure we can vaccinate this country and do it in the next number of months.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor on COVID-19 response, says the Biden Administration has deployed the Defense Production Act to ensure the country has critical supplies needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Slavitt shared that by December, the country will be producing a billion gloves a month. “We’re doing this with other items, and it’s an important win because we need the resilience and reliability of having these items here available to us here in the U.S.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
When asked why the Biden Administration has not given precise answers about when the country could return to normalcy, Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor on COVID-19 response, said, “There is no precise answer.” “One of the reasons the public is so fatigued is because no one was ever asked to prepare for a marathon. People were told 'this is a sprint and it's gonna be over soon.'" (Video: Washington Post Live)
Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor on COVID-19 response, says many people who are hesitant to take the coronavirus vaccine are “vaccine curious” and waiting for others to go first. He said having an open dialogue is crucial to fighting vaccine hesitancy and advised anyone who is unsure to talk to people they trust like their doctors, priests and other community leaders. When asked how the Biden Administration is ensuring equitable distribution in communities of color, Slavitt said the administration has created a health equity task force to actively address those issues. (Video: Washington Post Live)
Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor on COVID-19 response, says testing is underway to make sure all of the vaccines in use work against the variants that are spreading across the country. “Each of the vaccine companies -- both the ones that have been approved and the candidates — have plans to continue to update their vaccines, and if need be, create boosters.” (Video: Washington Post Live)

Andy Slavitt

From 2015 to 2017, Andy served as the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under President Obama, overseeing the Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, value-based payment reform and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Prior to that, Andy oversaw the successful turnaround of and served as a Group Executive Vice President of Optum, which he grew from its inception to $35 billion in revenues. Andy is Board Chair of United States of Care, a national non-profit health think-tank and advocacy organization he founded to achieve full, sustainable access to health care for all American families. Andy co-chairs The Future of Healthcare initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center and chairs the Medicaid Transformation Project which aims to transform care for the most vulnerable. He is also the founder and General Partner of Town Hall Ventures, which invests in health care innovations in vulnerable communities. Andy is host of a Lemondada Media podcast called, “In The Bubble”. From his own bubble, Andy is making it his mission to give Americans critical information in real-time and also hope for a path forward during this global pandemic. Currently, Andy is serving as senior adviser to the White House COVID-19 Response Team.