Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) bragged about the vaccine rollout in his state after he's been short-changing the urban areas for weeks, and wanted credit for the coronavirus positivity rate going down, when he's refused to implement a state-wide mask mandate during an appearance with Fox's Neil Cavuto this Saturday.
Parson's initial response to the criticism after reports showed the sick and the elderly in St. Louis and other urban areas driving for hours to rural Missouri to get vaccinated was to lash out at reporters and deny what everyone saw happening before their very eyes. Rural counties in Missouri struggled to find enough residents to fill up mass vaccination events, leaving thousands of surplus doses, while those in urban areas desperate to get vaccinated sat waiting for appointments due to lack of supply.
After local officials complained that "the St. Louis region, with approximately 2.2 million people, represented 37% of the state’s population, but was getting only about 17% of the state’s allocation of vaccine" last month, the state finally agreed to adjust vaccine distribution, but only after as many as 30 percent of residents in urban areas had to drive out of their county to get vaccinated. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas asked the feds to step in last week and "establish COVID-19 mass vaccination sites in the city amid widespread anger that Missouri’s urban areas aren’t receiving more doses."
None of that stopped Parsons from bragging about how well the rollout has supposedly been going during his interview with Cavuto (although I guess it's going great if you're one of his voters in the rural areas) and taking credit for positivity rates going down that he had nothing to do with. There have been and still are mask mandates in the urban areas, no thanks to Parsons. In the rural areas, it's the wild-wild west and has been for the entire pandemic.
PARSON: Yeah. You know, the main priority we've had is the same plan we set in October, the CDC, and we are absolutely executing that plan just like it was originally put together and making sure we're not doing knee-jerk reactions to everybody wanting to jump the line. Our biggest priority is people 65 years and older, the most vulnerable population in our state, and we stayed focused on that.
Next week we'll go teachers. We'll go to utility workers. We'll go to the next level, but that's, frankly, several weeks ahead of it. And right now we're second in the United States with the lowest positivity rate in the country. And when you have that going because of things we've done—and we never shut our state down. We never shut it down for the state of Missouri. We never did the mandates from the governor's office.
So I think a combination of staying with the vaccine plan and making sure we get that done and having the National Guard—I can't say enough for their support doing mass vaccine operations. And we will be doing a mega-vaccine operation next week in Kansas City, Missouri.
So there's not enough vaccine. We understand that. Everybody does, but I mean, it's all hands on deck right now, and we're putting needles in people's arms putting that want it.
Yeah, unless you live in the city and can't drive for eight hours to go get one. An actual "news" network would have asked Parson about the problems with vaccine distribution, instead of letting him brag about it, but Fox isn't "news." It's right-wing propaganda.