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Gottlieb: Biden administration needs to think about surging resources into COVID-19 hotspots
Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday that the Biden administration should consider targeting funding and vaccination efforts in COVID-19 hotspots around the country as health officials seek to prevent a fourth wave of infections.
Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," Gottlieb told host Margaret Brennan that he agreed with a call from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), to increase vaccine supply for states experiencing higher-than-average numbers of COVID-19 cases.
"[I]t's a request that's been made for weeks now, and I think we should have done it weeks ago. It's never too late to do it," he told CBS.
"I think we need to think about putting those resources into hotspots. It's been sort of a Hunger Games for vaccines among states so far. And we need to think differently about this pandemic," he said.
Gottlieb added that the reason vaccines have been allocated to states based upon their total population thus far is fears of pushback from governors of larger states who worry they will be unable to secure enough vaccines to reach significant herd immunity.
"Yeah, governors are going to complain about it. Every governor wants their allocation," Gottlieb said, when asked if there was a good reason to remain with the current allocation system.
"It's going to be a shame to look back and in retrospect, realize that we probably should have put more vaccine into some of these hot spots to snuff them out earlier," he added.
Michigan, Minnesota and parts of Texas are experiencing the worst COVID-19 rates in the nation at the moment, according to a New York Times map of data provided by local and state health agencies.
Much of the U.S. population is now eligible for the vaccine or will become eligible in the coming days as the pace of vaccinations across the country passed 4 million in one day for the first time this month.