February 19, 2021
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Yesterday, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball participated in a National Association of Counties call with White House officials. The three officials, Intergovernmental Affairs Senior Advisor Luke McGowan, COVID-19 Intergovernmental Affairs Director Eduardo Cisneros, and White House Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Bechara Choucair discussed vaccine supply and equitable distribution.
“The quick and effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine requires all levels of government be in constant communication and work collaboratively,” said Ball. “We’re encouraged by the active role this administration is taking in communicating more directly with local governments, and ensuring we have the resources to equitably get shots in arms. We’ve already seen progress with earlier notification of how many doses we will receive each week, and we’ll continue to push for additional doses for our community.”
Officials noted the challenges with weather this week but affirmed commitment to increasing supply of vaccine doses and PPE. White House officials also described their roll-out of FEMA mass vaccination sites as well as using Community Health Centers across the nation along with FEMA staff, trained vaccinators, and members of the U.S. military to assist communities and states with vaccination efforts.
“Counties across America continue to fulfill a vital role in mitigating and ending COVID-19, vaccinating residents, reviving our economies and serving our most vulnerable residents,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “A strong federal-state-local partnership is necessary to overcome the challenges we face. We thank the Biden administration for maintaining a dialogue with county leaders and working with us to address our most pressing public health and economic needs.”
The discussion also touched on the American Rescue Plan, the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 relief package.
They also noted how vital it is to hear directly from local communities and understand any problems on the ground. County Executive Ball plans to participate in these calls bi-weekly, and is asking Howard County residents to send questions for the White House Vaccination Team to [email protected] that he can direct to officials in the coming weeks. Residents should put “Question for White House Vax Team” in subject line of their emails. The next call is scheduled for March 4th.