David Axelrod, President Obama's senior adviser, says the administration based its predictions about how many doses of the H1N1 vaccine would be available by mid-October on bad information. Host Scott Simon visited the White House on Friday to ask Axelrod about the criticisms of the government's handling of the H1N1 vaccine, how the administration counted the number of jobs the stimulus is responsible for, and the controversy over the DNC promising donors access to senior officials at the White House.
Scott Simon: On Friday, the president talked about his frustration that H1N1 vaccine hasn't gotten out to more Americans. In August, the Centers for Disease Control said that 120 million doses would be available. They later scaled that back to 45 million. We're speaking today, on the last day of October, 25 million doses reportedly are ready. Did the government overpromise?
David Axelrod: Well, I think the manufacturers overpromised, and what was reported was the representations that were made to us. The fact is that this is a problem that's abating every day. And yes, we thought we would have 40,000 now, we have 26 —
Simon: — Forty million —
Axelrod: — I'm sorry, 40 million. Now we have 26 million. We believe that that is improving on a daily basis, and we're going to have an ample supply in very short order. So yes, we probably did overpromise, and we overpromised on the basis of what was represented to us.