Former HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giror urged President Biden Monday to rush additional supplies of COVID vaccines to Michigan to fight a rise in cases, telling “Your World” it’s the best way to “put out the blaze.”
GIROIR: Compared to Florida, Michigan has 250% more cases. Compare to Texas, they have 700% more cases, and both Florida and Texas are wide open. It’s a complex situation. What they should do — number one, 100% they should surge vaccines to Michigan. Leadership is about making choices. You have to put out this blaze. Vaccinations are the way to do it. We can vaccinate our way out of this. Sure, it will take two weeks or three weeks … number two, this is not April of 2020. We have hundreds of millions of tests. I’d send an at-home test to every [Michigan] resident. Allow people to test themselves … We can do that now. The logistics are easy, send it in the mail. They’re also over-the-counter. These are two ways. Shutdowns, they already have a mask mandate, they already have limitations of work. I don’t think you’ll get more bang for your buck out of more limitations. You’re just going to hurt more people.
We’re not to herd immunity … We still have a couple more months of vaccinations to get there. So it’s possible [the Michigan surge could] happen in other places. Number two, nobody knows exactly what happened in Michigan and is happening in Michigan. It’s not just variants because variants are throughout the country. That is a straw man argument that doesn’t hold the test of questioning. But we have seen over the last year, some places that had the most draconian steps, people revolted and they did workarounds. If you can’t eat out in a restaurant, you have 15 of your closest friends over to your house and sit in a small room and have dinner together. We’ve seen the more draconian actions are associated with exactly the opposite of what you want. This is not 2020 and this certainly isn’t 1820. We have vaccinations. Surge them. We have tests. Provide them. These are direct ways that the administration, with good leadership, can get out of this situation we’re in in Michigan while still protecting the rest of the country.
We should not be bleak. We need to be concerned. We need to be vigilant. We’re not through this yet. But remember, we protected the most vulnerable in our country. About 80% of over 65s have been vaccinated. We’ve done well over 110 to 120 million vaccines. The mortality rate continues to go down. We need to be concerned. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we have to restore our life back to normal to a degree. Texas is doing fantastic. I love being here. I can do things I haven’t done for one-and-a-half years. We shouldn’t be that bleak. We have vaccines. Vaccines will end this. Vaccines are controlling the variants including South Africa and the U.K. variant. So we have every reason to be cautiously optimistic, but it’s not bleak. Whatever the reasons are, this is not bleak. I don’t see doom ahead of us. I see a bright light at the end of the tunnel and approaching very quickly.
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