Governors claim the federal government “botched” vaccine distribution

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WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 14: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks at George Washington University Hospital on December 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer, together with the governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota, are calling on the federal government to allow states to buy their own doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes after Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar promised on Tuesday to release millions of vaccine doses that had been held in reserve to help states ramp up distribution. The Washington Post reported tonight that, when Azar made that promise, the reserve had already been exhausted and the new surge states had been preparing for would not happen.

Whitmer cited the article in a statement today, saying the federal government had “botched” the vaccine rollout and misled the American people. State-level officials from Florida to Oregon are criticizing HHS and demanding answers for the apparent discrepancy.

Azar resigned his post as HHS secretary today, although that resignation is not effective until noon on January 20th, when Joe Biden will be sworn in as president. In his resignation letter, Azar maintains that he has been effective in his post and does not cite vaccine distribution as the reason for his departure. Instead, Azar cites “the actions and rhetoric” surrounding the attack on the U.S. Capitol nine days ago.

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