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Trump Officials Lobbied Congress Against Funding Vaccine Rollout

Frustrated by the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines? This is a reason why it’s going so poorly.

StatNews journalist Nicholas Florko reports Trump officials actively lobbied against giving states money for Covid-19 vaccine administration.

Via StatNews:

Top Trump officials actively lobbied Congress to deny state governments any extra funding for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout last fall — despite frantic warnings from state officials that they didn’t have the money they needed to ramp up a massive vaccination operation.

The push, described to STAT by congressional aides in both parties and openly acknowledged by one of the Trump officials, came from multiple high-ranking Trump health officials in repeated meetings with legislators.

Without the extra money, states spent last October and November rationing the small pot of federal dollars they had been given. And when vaccines began shipping in December, states seemed woefully underprepared.

Paul Mango, the former deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services, was apparently a big part of the lobbying effort.

He told StatNews that since states hadn’t spent the $200 million that the CDC sent in September, they must not need the funds.

Mango told StatNews he believed the states were asking for the funding to help fill empty tax coffers.

“A lot of them had shut down their economies and they weren’t getting tax revenue,” he said.

There’s much more over at StatNews – quite the deep dive into the facts.