Following a news report that revealed that the vaccine reserve the Trump administration vowed to release doesn’t actually exist, Governor Tim Walz, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Friday expressing their frustration with the administration’s botched COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
They urged the Trump administration to purchase as many doses of the vaccine as possible so states can get more shots in arms in the coming weeks. According to the CDC, the current plan has reached just 3% of the U.S. population.
“It has become abundantly clear that not only has the Trump administration botched the rollout of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, but also that the American people have been misled about these delays,” the governors stated.
“Pfizer just announced that as of yesterday, they have millions of doses of the vaccine on hand and are waiting on addresses from the Trump administration so they can deliver the vaccine to states,” the letter read. “If you are unable or unwilling to give us that supply, we urge you to grant permission for us to directly purchase vaccines so we may distribute them to the people of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as quickly as possible.
“Without additional supply or authorization to purchase directly, our states may be forced to cancel plans for public vaccination clinics in the coming weeks, which are expected to vaccinate tens of thousands. It’s time for the Trump administration to do the right thing and help us end this pandemic.”
After Governor Walz and eight other governors sent a letter to Secretary Azar last week requesting that the federal government distribute the millions of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses that are currently being held back by the Trump administration, the administration announced that they will release the available vaccine doses.
But according to a Washington Post article published Friday morning, federal officials backtracked and are now claiming that the reserve has already been exhausted, despite the fact that we have not seen an increase in our allocations and despite Pfizer’s recent announcement that they currently have millions of doses of the vaccine on hand and are waiting on addresses from the Trump administration so they can deliver the vaccine to states.
Late Friday afternoon, President-elect Joe Biden committed to correcting the mistakes of the outgoing administration. Calling the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout a “dismal failure,” Biden said that when in office, his administration would release vaccine supplies as soon as it becomes available, and utilize the Defense Production Act to speed up the production of equipment like syringes and protective, and among other measures.