News & Brews February 18, 2021
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Major DOH error means up to 100K-plus people need to reschedule vaccine
Yesterday, the Department of Health dropped a bombshell that due to a “structural issue” that’s been going on since early January (yes, January), second doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine were given as first doses, meaning 30,000 to 60,000 people who already scheduled their second dose will have to delay it by up to two weeks and another 30,000 to 55,000 people will have to reschedule their first dose. Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam refused to answer questions on which provider or providers made the error, and even reporters were clearly frustrated with the non-answers. You can watch the full press conference here (the Q&A segment begins just after the 10:30 mark). And you can also vote in my very scientific Twitter poll, which asks which is worse: botching a constitutional amendment (as Wolf’s Department of State did earlier this month) or botching the COVID vaccine distribution.
I know it’s not Headline Monday, but here’s a mid-week extra. In reporting on the above debacle, the Philadelphia Inquirer headlined it as “PA faces a vaccine shortage that could delay shots for 100,000.” Yep, no headline attention given to the fact that this was a major botch-up by the Department of Health. Instead, it’s a “shortage”. Meanwhile, one southeast Republican House member has been bending over backwards to help his senior citizen constituents get the vaccine. And how does the Inquirer headline that one? “A Pa. lawmaker helped hundreds of seniors get COVID-19 vaccines, but not everyone says that’s fair.” I kid you not. Instead of backhandedly criticizing the lawmaker–Rep. Todd Stephens–maybe we should put him in charge of the state’s vaccine rollout as he seems to be doing better than the Wolf administration.
Op-Ed: Wolf’s budget proposal fails reality test
Carl Marrara, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, has an op-ed in Broad + Liberty highlighting an interesting fact. Last year, Gov Wolf. said that what’s needed to get our economy back to normal is a foolproof vaccine. Yet, “there were 3,267 words in his budget address, and not one of them were ‘vaccine’ or ‘vaccination.'” Instead, Marrara writes that Wolf “offered up an obscene progressive wish list that disrespects the economic reality of families and businesses trying to make it through the month.” Read the op-ed here.
Pa. taxpayers paid at least $5.2 million in legal fees during 2020 elections
The Wolf administration spent $3.4 million on 24 separate lawsuits last year, while legislative Republicans spent $1.8 million in legal fees, reports the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. During a hearing yesterday, Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid said the money was paid to address the “out of the ordinary number of unusual litigation we were involved in in 2020.”