Democratic Governors Slam Trump Administration For Lying About Vaccine Stockpile

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Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that the Trump administration would release all available vaccine doses from the federal stockpile. But it turns out that no such reserve of vaccines existed, blindsiding state and health officials who had anticipated additional vaccines.

Democratic governors have been working tirelessly to ramp up vaccine distribution and get as many shots in arms as possible, but once again, the federal government has lied to governors and left states in the lurch. The Trump administration’s lack of transparency and failure to lead is slowing vaccinations that could save lives.

Governors Whitmer, Evers, and Walz sent a letter to Secretary Azar expressing their frustration with the Trump administration and asking permission to purchase vaccines directly from suppliers.

Democratic governors across the country slammed the Trump administration and demanded answers. Here are some of their comments:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom: “It’s simple — states need more vaccines and clarity of when we will be receiving them. [Health and Human Services] has achieved the opposite.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis: “I’m shocked we were lied to and there is no national reserve.Federal announcements that 2nd dose being held in reserve was going to be released led us to expect 210,000 doses next week,other Govs made similar plans.Now we find out we’ll only get 79,000 next week.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:“The Trump Administration has not only botched the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, but also misled the American people. After finally agreeing to release what remained of the federal vaccine reserve, we found out the truth — there isn’t one.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz:“This is appalling. Minnesotans are sick of false promises from the Trump Administration. After promising a surge of doses, the Administration is now pulling out the rug from under our seniors, teachers, and every Minnesotan eagerly awaiting the vaccine. Throughout the pandemic, the states’ strategy with the federal government has been to trust but verify. This sadly shows why.” 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy:“Governors were given assurances by [Health and Human Services] that we’d receive additional vaccines from the national reserve for our seniors, health care workers, and first responders. We need answers for why this stockpile doesn’t exist and our allocations have been reduced from what we expected.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “Despite every opportunity to reflect on and fix past errors, last week [Alex Azar] created even more damage, anxiety and confusion among the American public when you told reporters on January 12, 2021 that the federal government would increase the supply of vaccines by shipping “all of the doses that had been held in physical reserve” when in reality, according to news reports, the federal government had already distributed all of those doses and supply would not be increasing. In fact, New York would soon find out that we would receive 50,000 fewer doses from the federal government than the week prior.” 

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak:“I join fellow governors in seeking answers from [Health and Human Services] about the strategic reserve of vaccines we were told would be released to increase the immediate supply of vaccines available to Americans. States – and the public – need clarity to help get vaccines into arms faster.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown:“Last night, I received disturbing news, confirmed to me directly by General Perna of Operation Warp Speed: States will not be receiving increased shipments of vaccines from the national stockpile next week, because there is no federal reserve of doses. I am demanding answers from the Trump Administration. I am shocked and appalled that they have set an expectation on which they could not deliver, with such grave consequences.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee:“Governors were told repeatedly by [Health and Human Services] there was a strategic reserve of vaccines, and this week, the American people were told it’d be released to increase supply of vaccine. It appears now that no reserve exists. The Trump admin. must answer immediately for this deception.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers:“I’ve asked for weeks for Wisconsin to receive more vaccines from the federal reserve so we can distribute more vaccinations across our state. Now the Trump Administration is saying there is no federal reserve. It’s a slap in the face to Wisconsinites who need these vaccines now.”