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Politics & Government

Rep. John Katko Pushing Federal Agencies For Accelerated Distribution Of COVID-19 Vaccine

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Central New York Congressmember John Katko said vaccine distribution at the federal level needs to move faster to meet demand. Katko met with representatives from FEMA, Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense about accelerating the process.

Supply greatly lags behind demand in New York. Onondaga County’s vaccine slots each week are typically completely booked within minutes, with thousands of eligible residents left without a desired appointment. Katko says counties need to have more control.

“Some weeks you get a decent amount and the next week you don’t get any," said Katko. "And that’s very hard for them to get into a systematic distribution of vaccine. So I think some decentralization would help a lot and let the counties do what they do best. And that is figure out where the vaccine should go.”

The Congressmember said County Executive Ryan McMahon is doing the best he can under the circumstances. He’s urging federal agencies to develop a plan that would give states consistent, long term notice about vaccine allotment instead of week to week.

Meanwhile in DC, Katko and his fellow representatives are addressing the lingering issue of conspiracy theories following the January attack on the Capitol. Georgia Representative Marjorie Greene Taylor was removed from her committee assignments for false and violent past statements. Katko was one of 11 Republicans who voted to remove Greene.

There’s no place for violent chatter, if you will, in support of political views. That’s how we got to January 6th and we can’t have that in this country. And I wanted to make a strong statement that I feel that way,” said Katko.

Katko is a leader on the House Homeland Security committee and said there is discussion about creating a commission on domestic terrorism in the United States.