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House Democrat says the COVID-19 vaccination distribution is 'not an issue that should be tainted with politics'

House Democrat says the COVID-19 vaccination distribution is 'not an issue that should be tainted with politics'
© Greg Nash

The U.S. needs strong leadership to educate Americans about the coronavirus vaccine and get it distributed, Rep. Eddie Bernice JohnsonEddie Bernice JohnsonWhy does Rep. Johnson oppose NASA's commercial human landing system? OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dakota Access pipeline to remain in operation despite calls for shutdown | Biden hopes to boost climate spending by B | White House budget proposes .4B for environmental justice Congressional proclamation prioritizes a critical societal issue: Lack of women of color in tech MORE (D-Texas) said on Wednesday.

Speaking at The Hill’s “The Challenge of Our Time: The COVID-19 Vaccine” event, Johnson told moderator Steve Clemons that the past administration’s distribution of and discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine was “disjointed and had an appearance of being very partisan.”

Having gotten past much of the initial skepticism among her constituents about the vaccine, she said, there is now “difficulty getting a supply and where the supply will be.”

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“This really is not an issue that should be tainted with politics. It’s pure science and pure health care,” she said. “We’ve got lots of information as to where the greatest deficits are, the most vulnerable populations. All we need now is some strong leadership to make sure we get the information and supply out to the people.”

“We really do need to be guided by scientific determinations and where those supply is most needed,” Johnson said at the event sponsored by 3M, HDA and UPS. “I think we are moving in that direction.”

A 15-term lawmaker, Johnson is the first Black woman to lead the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and was the first nurse elected to Congress. She noted the private sector has developed most of the vaccines, but funding is required from Congress for distribution.

She also said there must be a greater investment in science in the U.S.

“Not only have we underinvested [in science] to a large degree, we have also had so much politics to enter in- to interfere with it. Hopefully, we are getting away from that with the new administration because science is really not political. Pure science should be available to everyone in the world for sharing,” Johnson said.