Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, discussed the state’s COVID-19 outbreak and vaccine availability in separate talks Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
Whitmer previously called on the Biden administration to send a wave of additional vaccines to Michigan to tackle the nation’s worst outbreak, but the governor has encountered some resistance from the federal government to the idea.
While chatting with host Chuck Todd, Fauci agreed that the best response to a hotspot was to contain it by shutting things down rather than upping the vaccines.
“If you take vaccines from other places and move them around, you make that place vulnerable to what’s going on in Michigan,” Fauci said. “This is the reason why you don’t see a lot of vaccine remobilization from one state to another.
Whitmer said pockets of people without antibodies from previous efforts to control the spread of the virus were fueling the current outbreak, as well as the more contagious and potentially deadly B-117 variant.
The B-117 variant is now dominant in the United States as well as in Europe, Fauci said, expressing gratitude that the vaccines work very well against it.
“It was a good thing until the variants came along,” Whitmer said. “We are 15 months away and people are tired and giving up on protocols.”
Whitmer continued to plead with residents to take a two-week break from activities like eating indoors, especially for those returning from spring break. The state could start what looks like a slowdown in new cases, she said.
Whitmer has met strong resistance in his previous shutdowns and in turn has resisted new calls for mitigation orders during the current outbreak.
Playing snippets of Whitmer previously stating that she won’t be ‘intimidated’ for not following science, Todd asked Whitmer about the accusations that she had changed her tone and wondered if her hands were tied on it. .
“Over the past few months, I’ve been sued by my legislature, lost in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court, and don’t have exactly the same tools,” Whitmer said. “Despite these things, we still have some of the strongest mitigation measures in the country, cloaked mandates, capacity limitations, working from home. So we always do what we can.
Although he had not received a vaccine surge, Whitmer thanked the federal government for its additional supplies and staff, also praising the state’s efforts to rapidly vaccinate the population. She implored residents to continue to take the pandemic seriously.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to whether everyone is doing their part or not, that’s the most important thing,” Whitmer said. “We must continue to urge the public to get these safe and effective vaccines, to understand that this is the key to saving your health and those you love around you, but also to getting our economy back on track and returning to normalcy. each of us is single.
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