"They were lying," Gov. Walz says about federal COVID-19 vaccine stockpile

Updated: January 15, 2021 06:24 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 05:10 PM

Gov. Tim Walz voiced his frustration with the federal roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine during a press conference Friday.

Walz said the federal government has been deceiving state officials when they claimed they were holding back second doses of the vaccine in a stockpile until they were needed.

“For months, we've planned on that and they told us that. I and my team spent 100 of hours doing that.  We sent a letter this week and said don't hold them back, release them. They said ok.  They were lying.  They don't have any doses held back.  There is no strategic supply for the second doses,” said Walz.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown echoed Walz in an official statement describing the situation as "a deception on a national scale."

Gov. Walz also joined Gov. Tony Evers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a joint letter sent to the secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, voicing their concerns.

Walz said there are about 2.1 million Minnesotan’s waiting to receive the vaccine, but the state has only received around 60 thousand doses.

He did, however, voice confidence in the state’s ability to administer more vaccine doses when more arrive and believes the vaccine will become more readily available under the upcoming administration.

With currently available doses, Walz said skilled nursing recipients should receive the vaccine by January 18th and that vaccinating those in long-term care should be complete by January 30th.

Updated plans for the next stage of the rollout will be made available sometime the week of January 18th.

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