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Evers joins Midwest Governors bashing ‘botched’ federal vaccine distribution

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Democratic Governor Tony Evers (D - WI) joined fellow Democratic governors in Michigan and Minnesota to write a letter accused U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar of misleading states about a reserve of vaccine doses.

The letter is based on a report Friday from the Washington Post. The report found the reserve, which the upset state leaders thought was being held for second doses, actually went out in late December.

"It has become abundantly clear that not only has the Trump administration botched the rollout of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," read the letter, signed by Evers, Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D - MI), and Governor Tim Walz (D-MN). "But also that the American people have been misled about these delays."

The letter referenced a letter last week from the governors of nine states asking HHS about the millions of reserve doses.

According to the letter, Azar agreed to release the reserved doses last week even though they were already gone.

The governors referenced Pzifer's announcement Thursday it has millions of doses waiting in storage but have not gotten guidance from the federal government about where they should go.

"If you are unable or unwilling to give us that supply, we urge you to grant
permission for us to directly purchase vaccines so we may distribute them to the people of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as quickly as possible," the letter read.

The governors also wrote it was also their understanding the federal government has yet to pay for all of the doses set aside for the United States.

"We strongly urge the Trump administration to
purchase as many doses of the safe and effective vaccine as soon as possible," the letter read. "So we can work together to get more shots in arms in the coming weeks."

The full letter is available here.

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A. J. Bayatpour

Reporter, WKOW 27

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