White House COVID-19 response team 'taking action' in Michigan amid case surge

Posted at 12:23 PM, Apr 12, 2021

(WXYZ) — During Monday's White House COVID response team press briefing, Andy Slavitt, senior White House coronavirus adviser, said they are taking action in Michigan amid the surge in cases.

“In states like Michigan where we are seeing troubling metrics, we are taking action by deploying resources in four critical areas: shots in arms, personnel, testing and therapeutics," said Slavitt.

When it comes to administering the vaccine, Slavitt said they are working with states to accelerate that effort. He also noted that they have sent more FEMA personnel specifically to Michigan to help get more shots in arms across the state.

As of April 8, Michigan has administered more than 5 million doses of the COVID vaccine.

Slavitt said, additionally, they are increasing the number of diagnostic tests sent to the state and helping to pilot "innovative approaches" as part of the state's testing programs as it relates to school sports.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, when asked about thoughts on a strategy of surging vaccines to Michigan, said that's not necessarily the answer to what is currently happening in Michigan.

"If vaccines go in arms today, we will not see an effect of those vaccines … for somewhere between two to six weeks. When you have an acute situation, extraordinary number of cases, like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine, in fact, we know that the vaccine will have a delayed response," she said. "The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer and to shut things down, to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test to the extent that we have available, to contact trace … really what we need to do in those situations is shut things down."

She added, “I think if we tried to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work to actually have the impact.”

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