US governors urge President to hold meeting on COVID-19 vaccination program

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his news conference on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, in state capital, Albany, where he announced he was extending the coronavirus restrictions till May 15. (Photo: NY Governor’s Office/IANS).

New York, Oct 16 (IANS) New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo released a letter from the National Governors Association (NGA), asking US President Donald Trump for a meeting to discuss how a vaccination program would be conducted and what the respective roles of the federal and state governments are in this regard.

“States have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, working tirelessly to protect and care for our residents during this global pandemic. Governors are willing to assist your Administration’s efforts to ensure a national vaccination campaign is implemented smoothly and efficiently,” read the letter released on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“However, additional guidance and clarification is needed on the roles and expectations of states in a successful COVID-19 vaccine distribution and implementation plan,” it added.

The governors request a meeting with Trump and his team to discuss what is required to ensure a strong partnership, including but not limited to: the delineation of federal and state responsibilities; the funding needs associated with those responsibilities; and the planned supply chain management and vaccine allocation process.

Trump has not yet responded to the governors’ letter.

Cuomo, chair of the NGA, has been overseeing the combat against COVID-19 pandemic in one of the worst-hit US states since March, and criticized Trump on various occasions for his handling of COVID-19.

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