“Federal responsibility does not end with delivery of vaccines to states, as you have suggested,” the Democrats wrote. “Vaccine administration must be a close partnership between the federal government and state, Tribal, and local governments, with the federal government stepping up to ensure that all needs are met.”
A spokesperson for HHS countered that the federal government has increasingly provided resources and guidance for states, citing $3 billion in new funding for states and data showing progress with vaccinations.
“2.3 million vaccinations have been reported to the CDC since Friday morning, as we continue to see the vaccination effort pick up momentum,” the spokesperson added. “The federal government through the CDC provided a playbook to states in September and has been working with them ever since on vaccination plans.”
The letter comes as President-elect Joe Biden and his advisers grow concerned that the Trump administration’s vaccine response is “chaotic” and will potentially undermine Biden’s goal to deliver 100 million vaccinations within his administration’s first 100 days.
Hospitals and health care providers have also complained that the Trump administration has offered insufficient guidance and support for local vaccination efforts. Their latest criticism is that the federal government is providing syringes that are forcing them to waste potential doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.