After Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) called on the federal government to send more coronavirus vaccines to her state to deal with a surge of the virus in recent weeks, the Biden Administration confirmed on Monday that it would not provide such aid to the stricken state, as reported by the New York Post.
Andy Slavitt, one of the senior advisers to the Biden Administration’s coronavirus task force, said at a press conference that sending more vaccines to Michigan would constitute a “Whack-a-Mole” strategy.
“The [coronavirus] variants that we’ve seen in Michigan,” Slavitt explained, “those variants are also present in other states. 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.”
Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Rochelle Walensky then suggested that Michigan instead should “close things down” once again in order to combat the spread of the alleged new “variants.” Walensky said that “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. The answer to that is to really close things down, 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.”
Governor Whitmer made a public plea for help from the federal government in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. In the interview, Whitmer pointed out that the state had already enacted strict measures such as mask mandates and limits on capacity in certain businesses and other buildings. Yet despite this, “we are seeing a surge because of these variants,” Whitmer said. “And that’s precisely why we’re really encouraging them to think about surging vaccines into the state of Michigan.”
On Saturday, it was reported that there had been over 6,900 new cases in the state, with 74 deaths from the virus.