The federal government won’t be sending extra COVID-19 shots to hard-hit Michigan since they won’t arrive fast enough to fight the surge, officials said Monday — instead suggesting the state should “close things down” again.
“We have to remember the fact that in the next two to six weeks, the variants that we’ve seen in Michigan, those variants are also … present in other states,” said Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to President Biden’s coronavirus task force, at a press briefing.
“So our ability to vaccinate people quickly in each of those states rather than taking vaccines and shifting it to playing Whack-a-Mole isn’t the strategy that public health leaders and scientists have laid out.”
The federal government won’t be sending extra COVID-19 shots to hard-hit Michigan.Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky agreed that shifting vaccine supply from other places isn’t the solution — saying that the state should “close things down” to help tackle a concerning wave of cases, which are spreading at the highest rate in the nation.
“I think if we tried to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work,” she said.
“The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to back to where we were last spring, last summer … to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test … to contact trace.”
Nuns from a convent in Livonia and others gather at the burial site of one of 13 nuns who have died from the coronavirus in the Michigan city on April 24, 2020.Sister Mary Alfonsa Van Overberghe via AP
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over the weekend called on the feds to send additional doses, saying the state has already enacted mask mandates, capacity limits and other health rules.
“So 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,” she said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Slavitt said Monday that other types of help have been made available to the state.
People crowd outdoor seating at a restaurant as COVID-19 restrictions are eased in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 4, 2021.REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo
“We have offered to surge monoclonal antibodies [and] testing,” he said. There’s a CDC team on the ground… 140 FEMA vaccinators have just moved into the town, those are things you can affect quickly, and we believe can ramp things up more quickly.”
The Great Lakes State recorded 6,900 cases and 74 more deaths on Saturday. It does not report coronavirus data on Sunday.