Joe Biden Criticizes States for Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution: Too Rigid and Confusing

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

President-elect Joe Biden criticized some states for too many restrictions on the delivery of the coronavirus vaccine in a speech on Friday.

“The process of establishing priority groups is driven by science, but the problem is the implementation has been too rigid and confusing,” Biden said.

Some states, like New York, have implemented strict rules about the administration of the vaccine, prioritizing front-line medical workers to get the vaccine first, followed by essential workers such as grocery store employees and teachers.

The president-elect did not specifically call out New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after well-publicized reports of medical staff in the state having to throw out the vaccine because of a lack of candidates meeting the strict requirements for getting a dose.

Cuomo also threatened health care providers with fines of up to $1 million dollars if they did not follow the vaccine prioritization rules and even threatened to revoke the state licenses for medical institutions.

Biden said that the majority of Americans did not know who should be vaccinated first, but that it was clearly not going fast enough.

“What they do know is there are tens of millions of doses of vaccines sitting unused in a freezer, while people who want and need the vaccine can’t get it,” he said.

Biden said he would fix the problem by “encouraging states” to vaccinate more people, including anyone 65 and older.

“It won’t mean that everyone in these groups will get vaccinated immediately, as supply is not where it needs to be,” Biden said.

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