Governors tell Biden better vaccine coordination is needed
The bipartisan leaders of the National Governors Association on Monday sent a letter to the White House calling on the Biden administration to better coordinate the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.
In the letter, the governors outline two key areas of concern. The first is the public’s understanding of the vaccine rollout process, saying Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting on local and state efforts has “created unnecessary confusion.”
The governors noted the shots are distributed through multiple programs, including three that are administered by the federal government.
“We believe it is important that the CDC in its reporting distinguish between these separate efforts to avoid confusion and provide a clear understanding to the American people,” the letter reads. “States also need visibility into the federal vaccination efforts at the facility level happening in our borders.”
The signers also call for federal coordination between the state and federal governments on the use of pharmacies and federally-qualified health centers, known as FQHCs, to administer vaccine doses.
“We understand the capacity of the individual entities and we know the range of the individual entities throughput and their inventory. As usual, some pharmacies and FQHCs are better suited for the task than others. Following the performance data on these entities is essential,” the letter reads.
The letter is signed by the Democratic governors of New York, New Mexico, Colorado and Michigan and the Republican governors of Alabama, Massachusetts, Arizona, Maryland and Arkansas.
“Our strong partnership with states over the last several weeks is helping us vaccinate more people, and we look forward to continuing to be a strong, receptive federal partner as we work with the relevant stakeholders to improve our data and reporting,” a White House spokesperson told CNN. “Our goal is to get more shots in the arms of Americans as equitably and efficiently as possible, and addressing these issues are critical to doing just that.”
NGA Chairman and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is facing mounting scrutiny over his handling of COVID-19 nursing home deaths, met with Biden on Friday to discuss vaccination efforts, according to the network.