News today reflects not so well on Arkansas.
The Senate passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill on a party-line vote. Naturally Arkansas Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman voted against a bill described as the largest anti-poverty effort in a generation. It will include millions for schools, cities and states and, particularly, those who need it most.
Naturally, Republicans opposed it. Too much money, they say. And not a cent for millionaire tax cuts.
And note this from the White House COVID-19 advisor, Andy Slavitt:
NEW: 2.9 million vaccines reported administered today, 20% above the last record.
Gratitude for all the vaccinators, volunteers, doctors, pharmacists, couriers, manufacturers, civil servants, and soldiers who are working together on this effort.
— Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt46) March 6, 2021
By my rough estimate, the U.S. just about hit 1 percent of the population in a day. By that standard, shouldn’t Arkansas be hitting 1 percent of the population a day, or 30,000 plus. It is not.
Valiant as the private pharmacy effort has been, it is not enough. And the state isn’t releasing enough of its available, dosage, almost a half-million doses unused so far. Mass clinics and broadened eligibility. The time is now, particularly since so many are resisting the vaccine.
In the last days I’ve heard of ineligible people scoring shots at the end of the day that pharmacies would otherwise have to discard. Of people ineligible in Arkansas driving to Texas for shots. Of people with ins getting shots.
Arkansas can do better.
The line is open and here’s today’s COVID-19 summary. All the indicators are hopeful except the vaccination count.
The governor said:
We continue to see a decline in hospitalizations, ventilator use, & overall active cases. Even though the directives are now guidance, we still need be mindful of the 3 W’s. If you’re eligible, I encourage you to get the vaccine. Each day we have more doses.