Rep. Brown: ‘Maryland can’t get better than a D’ on COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Rep. Brown: ‘Maryland can’t get better than a D’ on COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Gov. Larry Hogan receives a coronavirus vaccine on Monday Jan. 18, 2021 (Governor's Office Photo)

@BryanRenbaum

U.S. Rep. and former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) Monday slammed Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration’s stewardship of coronavirus vaccine distribution, saying the state has a “broken system.”

“I think that the state has a broken system. I don’t think that the state is well coordinated. I don’t think that there has been statewide planning… If you look at Maryland on a bell curve we rank 45th among all states. That was as of last week. Maybe we inched up a little bit. But that means that there are 44 states who have the same challenges that Maryland does…yet Maryland ranks 45th,” Brown told MarylandReporter.com.

Brown, who lost the 2014 gubernatorial election to Hogan, added: “So on that alone, Maryland can’t get better than a ‘D.’ It just can’t. If we are giving the 45th ranked a person a ‘B,’ then I’m not sure if that’s a credible report card.”

Brown said he believes the distribution process could be improved if the state created a centralized portal for data sharing.

“I think the governor has to create a single online portal for registering for the vaccine. Keep in mind that online registration cannot be the only avenue because there are still many Marylanders who do not have access to the internet or who are not comfortable with the use of the internet…What I would call on Gov. Hogan is to create a central internet portal where you can take in the information and take in enough data so that you know who your applicant pool is. You know where your doses are because you are coordinating that. And you can better match-up where we need to send the people who are registering.”

Brown called on the administration to launch a public awareness campaign featuring both local celebrities and local clergy members to help instill confidence in the vaccine in communities of color, most notably Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. Both jurisdictions have seen lower vaccination rates than the state at-large.

“Whether it’s a pastor or a rabbi, or whomever. They need to see the community leaders who are widely recognized throughout the county getting the vaccination. That’s what they need…Whether it’s TV or social media platforms, you have to do the outreach and you have to do put money behind it.”

However, Hogan’s communications director, Michael Ricci, noted that the state already has a “campaign with local celebrities and influencers to promote the vaccine.”

Ricci dismissed Brown’s ‘D’ grade of the administration’s vaccine rollout plan.

“If that is the grade he gives for doing 22,000 shots a day, then it is clear that Anthony Brown is still rooting for failure.”

Ricci provided MarylandReporter.com with a letter Hogan sent to the 9 Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation on Monday. The letter was in response to correspondence the lawmakers had sent on Feb. 2 in which they expressed concern about the progress of the state’s vaccine rollout plan.

Hogan blasted the lawmakers in the reply letter, insisting that he had previously addressed their concerns.

“To mitigate any further confusion I humbly suggest you direct your staff to spend more time reading these informative and regularly distributed materials and briefing you on their contents as opposed to writing press releases disguised as letters. Our team needs to devote their time to getting shots in Marylanders’ arms. Maryland families simply don’t have time to play Washington politics.”

Maryland’s health care providers have administered 699,733 COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday morning, according to the state’s Department of Health. That means that 84.3% of all of the first doses received from the federal government have been administered.

Maryland is currently in Phase 1C of the vaccination process, which prioritizes residents ages 65-74, some essential workers, and those with certain immunocompromised conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

Hogan toured vaccination sites in Baltimore County and Baltimore City on Monday morning while Brown toured the vaccination site at Six Flags amusement park in Prince George’s County.

About The Author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan@MarylandReporter.com

Reporter Bryan Renbaum served as the Capitol Hill Correspondent for Talk Media News for the past three-and-a-half years, filing print, radio and video reports on the Senate and the House of Representatives. He covered congressional reaction to the inauguration of President Donald Trump as well as the confirmation hearings of attorneys general Jeff Sessions and William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also filed breaking news reports on the 2017 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others. Previously Bryan broke multiple stories with the Baltimore Post-Examiner including sexual assault scandals at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a texting scandal on the women’s lacrosse team at that school for which he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He also covered the Maryland General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session as an intern for Maryland Reporter. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from McDaniel College. If you have additional questions or comments contact Bryan at: bryan@marylandreporter.com

3 Comments

  1. Marge a

    Very sad to read how our representatives are pointing fingers at one another over the COVID vaccine rollout in Maryland. Where is the outreach to seniors of all colors around the state? I haven’t seen or heard of one. As a 71 year old MD native I’m thoroughly disgusted that we have to play a game in trying to get an appointment! I wasn’t aware that one could get the vaccine in any county in the state whether you were a resident of that county or not. As a result many people have registered in multiple areas with multiple providers just trying to land that coveted appointment time. Is there no way, no listing as to how many seniors qualify for the 1C designation? As the localities open up the vaccine to more groups, the fight to get an appointment will only get worse, much worse. I’ve heard from my local State Del that the problem is caused by a lack of vaccines being given to Maryland to distribute. Instead of looking out for everyone, many of those who represent us in Congress seem to place blame on state officials rather than look at what is or isn’t coming from the Feds. Playing the blame game will do nothing but cost lives.

  2. Richard

    I agree, Maryland has a very frustrating system that doesn’t provide a reasonable way to attain a vaccine. It is disgusting and unacceptable not to mention a disservice to all Marylanders. The state and local authorities should resign or be recalled.

  3. Wendy weems

    I am so disappointed in this COVID-19 vaccination system. My husband is 70 and has fought two different types of cancer. I want to know where is his vaccination if we’re on 1C. I’m 64 and meet the criteria for underlying health conditions and to date haven’t heard anything. I seriously believe that one question needs to be added to the preregistration form. 1). Do you have any underlying health conditions? There are numerous elderly people in this county still waiting for vaccination #1. HELP PLEASE!

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