Certain states have had much smoother, faster vaccinations than others—but it’s not because they’re prioritizing speed over equity.
At the beginning of 2020, Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer was ready to retire. He was turning 60, the usual age limit for leading the National Guard in West Virginia. He’d led responses to every major disaster in the last decade, from the massive snowstorm during Superstorm Sandy to the one-in-1,000-year flood in 2016. “Some people would say I was bad luck,” he joked, because of the number of emergencies he oversaw.
Then the pandemic hit. The governor put Hoyer in charge of an interagency task force of doctors, officials, researchers, emergency responders, and others, managing everything from testing to ordering medical gear to crunching the numbers on who is getting sick and dying, and where. Hoyer wound up retiring from the National Guard to focus on pandemic response. He feels good about that decision: West Virginia, led by this task force, has ranked among the top U.S. states for quickly and efficiently administering Covid-19 vaccinations. Read more at The New Republic.
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