Michigan’s Plea for More Vaccines Is Rejected by Biden Team
(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration on Monday put Michigan’s Democratic governor on notice that her plea for more vaccine to be sent to the state isn’t going to happen, despite a surging Covid-19 outbreak there.
Shutdowns are needed to control the spike in cases, not more vaccine, said Rochelle Walensky, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a Monday news briefing. Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a separate briefing that the administration is “not in a place, nor will we be, where we take supply from one state to give them to another”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has urged the federal government to increase the amount of vaccine sent to Michigan, which has the highest rate of new infections in the U.S. Over the weekend, the state’s total number of Covid cases were pushed to more than 738,000 since the start of the pandemic.
Instead, the CDC director said the state needed “to shut things down” to battle the surge, adding that it can take as long as six weeks for vaccines to take effect, a delay that will have no immediate effect on the virus’s surge.
“If we tried to vaccinate our way out of what’s happening in Michigan we would be disappointed it took so long for the vaccine to work to actually have the impact,” Walensky said in a news briefing.
Instead, Walensky said it was important for the state to “go back to our basics,” by using measures that include business shutdowns, decreased social contact and more testing.
On Sunday, Whitmer said in an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation that the spike in Covid cases in Michigan is likely due to variants, adding that it was occurring even though the state has implemented measures such as mask mandates, capacity limits, and working from home.
”That’s precisely why we’re really encouraging them to think about surging vaccines into the state of Michigan,” Whitmer said.
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