well that's not good
January 15, 2021

A reserve of second-dose COVID-19 vaccines set to be repurposed as first doses is already empty, state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans tell The Washington Post.

Both the coronavirus vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. require two doses to be fully effective. So when distribution of first doses began, the Trump administration held back matching second doses to make sure recipients would be fully protected against COVID-19. Amid a massive demand for more doses, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced earlier this week that the department would begin doling out those reserved doses to more people, saying increased production speed would make up for the soon-to-be-depleted reserve.

But as officials soon learned, the federal government had stopped stockpiling second dose vaccines weeks ago, they tell the Post. Both first and second doses were instead taken right off the manufacturing line. That meant Azar's announcement reportedly released a stockpile that didn't exist. The U.S. had already reached its maximum distribution capacity, and new doses distributors were expecting next week weren't coming, the Post reports.

HHS spokesperson Michael Pratt confirmed in an email to the Post that the last of the reserve had been taken out for shipment this weekend. He didn't acknowledge Azar's comments, but said Operation Warp Speed had "always intended to transition from holding second doses in reserve as manufacturing stabilizes and we gained confidence in the ability for a consistent flow of vaccines." he also said states had only ordered 75 percent of the vaccines available to them. Read more at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

July 10, 2019

President Trump threw a party and somebody else had to pay for it.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) sent a letter to the president on Tuesday, warning him that his Independence Day celebration, which cost the city government $1.7 million, bankrupted a special D.C. security fund used to safeguard the capital from terrorist threats and provide protection at events such as rallies and state funerals, The Washington Post reports.

Bowser wrote that the fund is depleted and expect to run a $6 deficit by Sept. 30.

"We ask for your help with ensuring the residents of the District of Columbia are not asked to cover millions of dollars of federal expenses and are able to maintain our high standards of protection for federal events," Bowser wrote.

The costs for this year's July Fourth celebration were reportedly six times the cost as in years past in D.C. and the tab is apparently still growing.

The recent expenditures have also brought up some old wounds, the Post reports. During the Trump era, the security fund has dwindled and city officials said that the Trump administration has never repaid more than $7 million of the $27.3 million in costs the city incurred from Trump's 2017 inauguration. The administration argues that the city agreed to use unspent security fund money to pay for the the inaugural costs, but Bowser's staffers deny this, the Post reports.

The White House has not responded directly to Bowser's letter regarding the July Fourth celebration. Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

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