Gianforte Announces that Missoula is Part of New Federal Program
At a press conference in Helena on Wednesday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte addressed the issue of why Montana is not receiving its fair share of COVID 19 vaccines.
“When I reached out to President Biden last Friday, I mentioned not only that Montana wasn't getting our fair share, but also that Montana had been left out of his administration's new federally qualified health center COVID-19 vaccine program,” he said. “The new program starts this week, but Montana wasn't on the list.”
Gianforte said he pressed the Biden Administration on the issue and won a point for the state.
“I pressed the administration to get Montana on the list, and yesterday, the administration added Missoula County (Partnership) Health Center to the program,” he said. “I appreciate the Biden administration's response to that request. I hope the Biden administration will also listen to our request and that of our bipartisan congressional delegation to get Montana its fair share of the vaccines.”
Gianforte said he has been disappointed about the federal response to Montana’s vaccine needs.
“I've had one on one conversations with people in the White House about this on multiple occasions,” he said. “We do not have clarity on how the allocations are being done or why Montana lags behind most of the other states in the country on the per capita allocation. “We’ll continue to press them because we've proven we can get shots in arms. And this is really the light at the end of the tunnel that is going to make life brighter for all of us.”
Gianforte said the number of Montanans receiving the COVID vaccination is growing, but not fast enough.
“We are encouraged by the vaccinations,” he said. “We're getting close to 200,000 doses administered. As we shared on our website, we have very good transparency on where those vaccinations are going and who's been covered. We still have a ways to go to get through the Phase 1 B category to make sure that vaccines get to the most vulnerable. We're going to work through that and then use the facts available to us to make the best decision so that we can continue to protect our communities.”
Gianforte acknowledged that the state Medical Director Greg Holzman has resigned his position as of April 1, however he said ‘at no point did Dr. Holzman express any opposition to any of the decisions that our administration has made.’
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