STATE TRIES TO IMPROVE VACCINE ROLLOUT: The state is taking action to improve the reporting and rollout of Maryland’s allotment of coronavirus vaccines, Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday evening, reports Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter. “Today I am issuing an executive order which requires all providers in the state of Maryland to report data onto our system Immunet within 24 hours after vaccines are administered,” he said.
- Faced with a sluggish coronavirus vaccination pace, Hogan announced Tuesday he will deploy the state’s National Guard to hasten local health departments’ inoculation of medical workers, while threatening to take away unused vaccines from hospitals slow to administer them, Erin Cox, Rebecca Tan and Lola Fadulu report in the Post.
- The governor said the number of vaccinations has picked up, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports. He said the state has distributed 270,150 doses to hospitals, nursing homes and local health departments. “Everyone is trying to do their best,” Hogan said. “There’s not one particular glitch in the system. ”
- Hogan said under-reporting by hospitals and national drug store chains CVS and Walgreens make the numbers appear worse than they are. The companies have federal contracts to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.
- Hogan also announced that any provider that had not administered at least 75 percent of their first batch of vaccines might get future shipments reduced until they can prove that can distribute it more efficiently, Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post reports.
- The state added medical providers, correctional health care staff members and officers, and front-line judiciary employees to the 1A list on Tuesday, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports. About 500,000 people across the state are now included in Phase 1A.
- McKenna Oxenden of the Sun answers questions about the vaccine rollout and what Marylanders can expect to see in the near-term.
CECIL SUPER: STAFF VACCINES KEY TO SCHOOLS REOPENING: Cecil County Public Schools announced Monday that 5% of students will be able to return for four days a week of in-person instruction beginning Monday, Jan. 11. The district will look to expand face-to-face learning to more students, but the timeline of that expansion remains uncertain, Jacob Took of the Cecil Whig reports. CCPS Superintendent Jeff Lawson said the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to district staff will be a key factor in determining when schools can reopen more broadly.
12 DIE FROM COVID IN WA CO SINCE FRIDAY: Authorities reported Tuesday that 12 more people in Washington County have died from COVID-19 since Friday and 80 people were hospitalized with the virus, as Gov. Larry Hogan announced plans to ramp up vaccinations, Dave McMillion of the Hagerstown Herald Mail reports.
HARRIS SIDES WITH ANTI-BIDEN FACTION: Maryland’s sole Republican in Congress, Rep. Andy Harris, is among those who will challenge the certification of the election of Joe Biden as president, Dave Collins of WBAL-TV report. “I will very likely object to several of the states where I think the outcome is probably in doubt because inadequate investigation has been allowed to occur,” Harris said.
ELRICH URGES RESIDENTS TO AVOID D.C.: Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters writes that Montgomery County Executive Marc B. Elrich (D) joined the Washington, D.C., city council and Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) Tuesday in a call for residents to avoid potentially violent protests scheduled for Wednesday. “These are not ordinary times, and these will not be ordinary protests,” Elrich said in a statement.
FREDERICK DELEGATION PREPS FOR ANNAPOLIS: The upcoming legislative session in Annapolis will look quite different, as statehouse leaders prepare to keep lawmakers—including Frederick County’s two senators and six delegates—safe as the coronavirus pandemic continues, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News Post reports.
FORMER BUMP STOCK OWNERS SEEK COMPENSATION: A gun rights group is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that Maryland owes gun owners money for having required them to surrender their bump stocks and similar devices they can place on their firearms to make them fire faster, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.
BOWIE MAYOR EXPLORES COMPTROLLER RUN: Bowie Mayor Timothy Adams announced Tuesday that he is launching an exploratory committee in advance of his 2022 bid for state comptroller, Rachel Chason of the Post reports. Adams (D), a business owner and disabilities advocate, founded System Applications & Technologies in Upper Marlboro in 1989 and was elected mayor of Bowie (pop. 58,600) 30 years later. He is the city’s first African American mayor.
OPINION: NOT THE TIME FOR KIRWAN: Stephen J.K. Walters of the Maryland Public Policy Institute opines in a column for the Washington Post that now is not the time for the Maryland state legislature to bring back the Kirwan education funding plan, which was vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan. While it may fit the narrative that when the economy stalls, government should “spend into the wind,” teachers and education bureaucrats haven’t missed any paychecks but many others have.
TRUMP SIGNS HENRIETTA LACKS BILL INTO LAW: President Donald Trump signed a bill Tuesday inspired by the late Henrietta Lacks, a Baltimore County woman whose cells were used for medical research without her consent, reports McKenna Oxenden for the Sun. The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act requires the federal government to publish a report on government-funded cancer research trials, including the amount of participation by underrepresented populations and the barriers to participation.