Whitmer Reiterates Demand For Surge In Vaccine Doses Amid Current MI COVID Spike

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 31: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama at Belle Isle on October 31, 2020 in Detroit, M... DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 31: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama at Belle Isle on October 31, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. Biden is campaigning with Obama on Saturday in Michigan, a battleground state that President Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Amid Michigan facing a new spike in COVID-19 infection rates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D) on Sunday doubled down on their calls for the Biden administration to distribute more doses to hard-hit states like theirs.

Last week, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said that it currently plans to stick with a vaccine-allocation strategy that largely distributes doses to states and territories based on their population.

“This pandemic has hit every state and every county hard, thousands of people — hundred of thousands of people — died and more are dying each day and there are tens of millions of people across the country in each and every state and county who have not yet been vaccinated,” Zients said during a briefing on Friday. “The fair and equitable way to distribute the vaccine is based in the adult population by state, tribe and territory. Thats how it’s been done. And we will continue to do so.”

Whitmer refused to back down on her demand that the Biden administration send more vaccine doses to Michigan amid some public health experts recommending the use of adjusted vaccine allocation as a mitigation tool.

Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning, Whitmer argued that “some adjustments” are needed to address the current COVID-19 surge in Michigan.

After giving the Biden administration credit for record-setting levels of vaccinations nationwide, Whitmer pointed to the spike in coronavirus cases in the state despite public health measures in place.

“Despite all of that, we are seeing a surge because of these variants. And that’s precisely why we’re really encouraging them to think about surging vaccines into the state of Michigan,” Whitmer said. “And I’m going to continue to fight for the people of Michigan.”

In response to reports of Biden officials telling reporters that she is not maxing out COVID-19 vaccine supplies, Whitmer dismissed the notion.

“I don’t think there is a governor in the country that is leaving any vaccinations on the table. That is certainly the case in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “We’re getting shots in arms. We got over a million shots in arms just in the last two weeks. So we have really been rolling.”

Whitmer went on to reiterate her call for increased vaccine distribution to respond to COVID-19 hotspots, which she said would be in “everyone’s best interest.”

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D) offered a similar take during his appearance on CNN Sunday morning.

Gilchrist stressed the importance of “equity” in vaccine allocation to states as part of the Biden administration’s federal response to the pandemic.

“Equity means responding differently where there’s the most need. And right now, the most need is in the state of Michigan — that is very clear,” Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist pushed for a “hotspot strategy” to be deployed so that the people who need vaccinations that most will receive them, and help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“What’s happening in Michigan, as we know, we are not disconnected as a country,” Gilchrist said. “What’s happening in Michigan can spread through the Midwest. It can spread to the rest of the country.”

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