Governor Whitmer’s Failure to Effectively Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine Threatens Lives
LANSING, MI, January 5, 2021 – Michigan Freedom Fund Executive Director Tony Daunt today asked Governor Gretchen Whitmer to change course and take immediate and emergency action to more quickly distribute hundreds-of-thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations currently going unused in Michigan.
According to one report, the state has only distributed 33.8 percent of the vaccine it has on hand, with more than 250,000 doses sitting idle.
Michigan’s coronavirus vaccination rate dangerously ranks 44th in the nation, with only 992 people immunized for every 100,000 residents. The national average vaccination rate for COVID-19 is 1,390 per 100,000 – a staggering 40 percent higher than Michigan’s performance under Governor Whitmer.
Michigan ranks far below states like Florida (1,232 per 100,000), New York (1,412), North Dakota (2,918) and even California (1,143).
Whitmer’s lack of planning was compounded last month when controversial but still-acting Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon effectively left his post to work for President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.
It is unclear how much time – if any – Gordon is spending in Michigan combatting the pandemic, while he works the Washington, D.C. circuit.
“Every day Whitmer fails to effectively distribute a massive, unused stockpile of the vaccine is a day more Michiganians get unnecessarily sick – or worse,” said Daunt. “Michigan’s own Pfizer led the way with their development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, and its delivery of hundreds-of-thousands of doses to the state. Now Whitmer trails the nation in getting them administered.
“The Governor, MDHHS, and their teams had months to prepare for COVID vaccine distribution. Other states used that time and figured this out, and they’re all but lapping Michigan when it comes to vaccine delivery. We’re underperforming the rest of the nation by 40 percent!
“It’s too late for the Governor to worry about saving face. It’s not too late to save lives. Change course. Treat this like the emergency it is. Get the vaccine into nursing homes.”