Instead of muddying the waters, the federal government needs to take three urgent steps. First, set up a real-time public dashboard to track vaccine distribution. The public needs to know exactly how many doses are being delivered, distributed and administered. Transparency will help hold the right officials accountable, as well as target additional resources where they are most needed.

Second, publicize the plan for how vaccination will scale up so dramatically. States have submitted their individual plans to the CDC, but we need to see a national strategy that sets ambitious but realistic goals.

Third, acknowledge the challenges and end the defensiveness. The public will understand if initial goals need to be revised, but there must be willingness to learn from missteps and immediately course-correct.