Michigan Joins Coalition of Governors Urging Feds to Release Vaccines to States

Arguing that the federal government is holding back mass quantities of COVID-19 vaccine doses, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has joined seven other fellow governors from coast to coast in calling on top government officials requesting the distribution of those doses immediately.

Today, Governor Whitmer joined Gavin Newsom of California, Laura Kelly from Kansas, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Tim Walz of Minnesota, New York’s Andrew Cuomo, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, and Jay Inslee from Washington in dispatching a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer General Gustave Perna 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.

According to publicly reported information, the federal government currently has upwards of 50-percent of the currently produced vaccines held back by the administration for reasons unknown.

The governors say, “Our states are ready to work around the clock to ramp up distribution, get more shots in arms, and save more American lives,” adding, “General Perna, as you have stated before, ‘a vaccine sitting on a shelf is not effective.’ We couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why we are asking for your help now.”

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The governors’ letter goes on to suggest, “When we work together, we can end this pandemic and return to a life of normalcy sooner. Our finest medical researchers have made it crystal clear: if we fail, there will be even more dire consequences for our families, our small businesses, and our economy. This is America. There is no challenge we can’t meet. Let’s work together and get it done.”

Whitmer says that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, led by Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, has been working around the clock with health systems and local health departments across the state to distribute the vaccine to Michigan residents. She says that if the federal government releases the vaccines that are being held back, her administration has developed a plan to get 50,000 vaccines in Michiganders’ arms each day. The state began distributing the vaccine to frontline health workers and skilled nursing home residents and staff in December. To date, the state has administered more than 150,000 doses of the vaccine.

To learn more about Michigan’s COVID-19 distribution, you can visit http://Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.

To view the full letter to the Trump Administration, click the link below:

Letter-to-the-Federal-Government-1.7.21