Trump administration lobbied against states on COVID-19 vaccine funding
Top Trump health officials urged Congress last fall not to give states any additional money for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as state officials warned they didn't have the funding they needed, STAT scoops.
Why it matters: The vaccine rollout was ultimately sluggish, and the number of vaccines administered in the first few weeks fell way short of federal projections — partially because states faced a lack of resources.
- "Even after the Trump administration spent billions helping drug makers develop COVID-19 vaccines, it not only dismissed states' concerns about the help they would need to roll them out, but actively undermined their efforts to press Congress to get the funding they needed," STAT's Nicholas Florko writes.
What they're saying: Paul Mango, the former deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services, argued that states hadn't demonstrated they needed more funding, because they hadn't spent $200 million that the CDC sent to states in September.
- In October, states asked Congress for $8.4 billion in funding.
Congress eventually passed a relief package that included $4.5 billion for state governments, but that money only began to flow to states in January.