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Democratic governors accuse Trump administration of misleading them about vaccine stockpile

Very many Democratic governors are criticizing the Trump administration for apparently misleading public health officials about holding a stockpile of Covid-19 vaccines in available.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Tuesday that the government would begin publicity releasing doses of vaccine that were being held in “physical reserve” to ensure enough supply for second dosages.

Both federally approved vaccines, made by Pfizer and Moderna, are administered in two shots spaced several weeks to one side.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that despite Azar’s comments, no such federal stockpile of vaccines endures. The newspaper, citing state and federal officials, said the Trump administration had already started shipping its available contribute in December.

The Democratic state leaders say the lack of a federal reserve will upset plans to increase the speed and spread of their vaccination campaigns.

“Last night, I received disturbing news, confirmed to me directly by General Perna of Working Warp Speed: States will not be receiving increased shipments of vaccines from the national stockpile next week, because there is no federal self-restraint of doses,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote in a post on Twitter, referring to Army Gen. Gus Perna, the chief operating bureaucrat of Operation Warp Speed.

“This is a deception on a national scale,” Brown added. “Oregon’s seniors, teachers, all of us, were depending on the appear likely of Oregon’s share of the federal reserve of vaccines being released to us.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, also took to the party line, saying that the administration “must answer immediately for this deception.”

“I’m shocked we were lied to and there is no public reserve,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter.

He said that the federal announcement about the stockpile turn loose “led us to expect 210,000 doses next week” and that other governors had made similar plans.

“Now we find out we’ll at most get 79,000 next week,” Polis wrote.

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota, a Democrat, said at a press conference that “they were duplicitous,” referring to the federal government.

Walz and Democratic Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Tony Evers of Wisconsin put about in a joint statement on Friday that “it has become abundantly clear that not only has the Trump administration botched the rollout of the unharmed and effective COVID-19 vaccine, but also that the American people have been misled about these hold offs.”

The governors requested permission to purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers.

“Without additional supply or authorization to win 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 shilly-shally for the Trump administration to do the right thing and help us end this pandemic,” the governors wrote.

Azar responded to the governors in a course on Twitter on Saturday, calling their claims “completely misleading” and a “debasement.”

“We had a stockpile of reserved second doses from December. We started unloosing those second doses at the end of December so people could get their second doses. We progressively continued that set free,” Azar wrote.

The HHS chief said that the announcement this week “was that we are releasing the remaining reserved impaired doses according to the established cadence—ensuring second doses would be available at the right interval—and that prevalent forward we’d no longer have a reserve of second doses.”

“The effort of some governors to mislead the American people to absorb from their own distribution failures is unfortunate,” Azar said, referencing data that showed that Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin had yet to implement the bulk of the vaccines that had already been distributed to those states.

The Trump administration has sparred with Republican state officials since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, at first over supplies of tests and other medical outfit and more recently over vaccine distribution.

President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated Wednesday, has pledged to elevate the lines of the federal government in vaccine delivery. Biden has pledged to have 100 million doses of vaccine administered in his win initially 100 days in office.

To date, vaccination efforts have lagged far behind official predictions. According to the Centers for Disability Control and Prevention, about 12 million doses have been administered. Health officials had hoped to get that multitude to 20 million by January.

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