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Michigan governor touts J&J vaccine after Detroit mayor turns down doses

The governor of Michigan is defending the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, saying she would get it herself should it be available when she is eligible to be vaccinated.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) responded to criticism of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D), who last Thursday said that he had declined to accept more than 6,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Mayor Duggan is doing phenomenal work in the city of Detroit,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “He’s trying to do the best he can do for the people he represents and that’s what he always does.”

“I think that acknowledging that this J&J vaccine is another great tool in our arsenal is kind of where they are now, and deploying them is something they are going to do as well,” Whitmer continued.

When asked what she would say to a Detroit resident second-guessing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after Duggan said it wasn’t “the best,” referring to competing candidates from Moderna and Pfizer, the governor said that she would urge them to take whatever was available when eligible.

“Take that vaccine!” she said. “I am going to take whatever vaccine is available to me when my category comes up.”

“They all have high efficacy, they are all incredibly safe, and the quicker we can get to 70 percent of our population vaccinated, the quicker we can get back to some sort of normalcy,” she added.

The mayor contended that the city had enough vaccine doses to vaccinate all residents who are currently eligible. 

“At this point, everybody in the city of Detroit who is eligible, who wants a vaccine can get one,” Duggan said. “The day may come in March or April when every single Moderna and Pfizer is committed, and we still have people who need a vaccine. And at that point we will set up a Johnson & Johnson center.”

“Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best,” the mayor added. “And I am going to do everything I can to make sure the residents of the city of Detroit get the best.”

The mayor later walked back those comments, saying he would welcome the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine Gretchen Whitmer Jake Tapper Johnson & Johnson Michigan Mike Duggan

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