Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today issued the following statement as Ohio and the nation will reportedly fall far short of the vaccination goal of 20 million doses by the end of the year. Just 2.1 million doses have been administered nationwide to date. The state Controlling Board Wednesday approved $125 million in funds to distribute vaccines.
“Thankfully the resources have been finally been distributed to fast track vaccine distribution but pushing this process through the same underfunded and ignored public health infrastructure system is unsurprisingly running into the same issues that we saw with testing. The vaccines are coming in, but overwhelmed and underfunded local health departments and hospital systems simply don’t have the capacity to test, treat, trace, and vaccinate. I’m grateful to the hospital workers and public health professionals who have continued to persevere without the resources they need to keep themselves and their patients safe.
“The fact is it didn’t have to be this bad. We saw the problem coming, but Republicans both in Washington and here in Ohio seemed to be more interested in denying there is a problem for the past nine months than working to fix it. Until we do, more Ohioans will continue to be harmed.
“Instead of jumping to the front of the line to get vaccinated, Republicans should be showing a sense of urgency to get the vaccines to those who need it most. We can’t afford to wait.”