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Society

Biden to Surge Vaccinators, Testing to Hard-Hit Michigan

WASHINGTON — Washington is surging federal resources to support vaccinations, testing and therapeutics to Michigan in an effort to control the state's worst-in-the-nation COVID-19 transmission rate, the White House said Friday.

President Joe Biden outlined the moves late Thursday in a call with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to discuss the situation in the state, according to senior administration officials. It will not include a "surge" of vaccine doses, a move Whitmer has advocated.

Instead, Biden outlined how the federal government was planning to help Michigan better administer the doses already allocated to the state, as well as surge testing capacity and drugs for virus treatment.

Biden told Whitmer that his administration stands ready to send an additional 160 FEMA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention personnel to Michigan to assist in vaccinations, on top of the 230 federal personnel already deployed to the state to support pandemic response operations.

Biden added that he was directing his administration to prioritize the distribution of doses through federal channels, like the retail pharmacy program and community health centers, to areas of the state Whitmer identifies. 

About 39% of Michigan residents ages 16 and older have gotten at least one vaccine dose.

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