Arkansas Governor Urges Biden to Coordinate COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution With States

Arkansas Governor Urges Biden to Coordinate COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution With States
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson stands on stage prior to the start of the second day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 19, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Isabel van Brugen

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is calling on President Joe Biden to grant states greater control of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, the Republican governor suggested that Biden administration officials aren’t doing enough to communicate effectively with state officials. He said that this has caused confusion, and in some cases, COVID-19 vaccines have been sent to locations that have already received shipments from the federal government.

“Give it to the states, we'll get it out ... it’s easier to coordinate that way,” Hutchinson said. ”We’re going to continue to increase getting those doses out.”

His remarks came just days after he and a group of bipartisan governors addressed a letter (pdf) to Biden on similar issues.

The National Governors Association on Feb. 15 asked the president for “enhanced reporting and coordination between federal and state governments on COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts.”

It asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distinguish between several federal distribution programs in its reports data on vaccine distribution so as to provide more clarity on which efforts are state-run and which efforts are federally-run.

The letter also asked that federal decisions about pharmacy use and Federally Qualified Health Centers be coordinated with state governments.

“Due to the anxiety created by the demand and supply of the vaccine, it is imperative that the American people fully understand the process,” the governors, led by New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Hutchinson, wrote. “States also need visibility into the federal vaccination efforts at the facility level happening in our borders.”
Hutchinson said just days earlier: “I emphasized one particular point and that’s the states need to take the lead in vaccine administration and we don’t need to have duplicate programs that are hard to coordinate.”
Biden has vowed to vaccinate 100 million Americans against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, in his first 100 days in office. According to the CDC, more than 75. 2 million doses of the two authorized mRNA vaccines have been distributed as of Feb. 21, and 63 million total doses have been administered.

One vaccine is made by Pfizer and BioNtech; the other is made by Moderna, with assistance from U.S. health officials. Pfizer is authorized in people as young as 16, whereas Moderna is for people over 18 years old.

At least 11 states have seen delays in the rollout of vaccines due to severe winter conditions, with many forced to shut vaccination sites and reschedule appointments.

Thousands of appointments have been rescheduled in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Missouri, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Texas, and Alabama, ABC News reported last week.

The Biden administration didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.