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October 30, 2020
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

Readout from the Trump Administration’s 40th Governors Briefing on COVID-19 Response and Vaccine Distribution Best Practices

Today, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar led a discussion with the chief executives and senior leaders of approximately 50 states, territories, and the city of Washington, D.C., and the White House Coronavirus Task Force on local, state, and federal COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and continued collaboration on vaccine distribution and administration planning. Earlier today, HHS responded to our nation’s governors thoughtful technical questions on vaccine planning and distribution effort, which can be found here *.

Ambassador Birx provided an update on data and trends from across the nation, and discussed her recent visits to states in the upper Midwest and western United States, meeting with state, local, and community leaders.

Dr. Fauci provided an update on vaccine and therapeutic developments and the multi-layered, transparent, and independent vaccine approval process.

Secretary Azar and Director Hoelscher led a discussion with General Perna and governors on federal efforts in coordination with state and local governments to distribute a safe and effective vaccine. The discussion focused on planning efforts for areas such as vaccine supply-chain management; funding for state, local, and tribal governments; federal commitment to cover costs for vaccine recipients; coordination with providers; the 64 public health jurisdictions’ responsibilities; prioritization of vaccine administration with focus on vulnerable communities; and information management. All 64 public health jurisdictions submitted their vaccine distribution plans to the CDC earlier in October, and CDC provided feedback on these iterative, ongoing documents to states earlier this week.

Several governors highlighted best practices and provided additional perspective on their distribution planning efforts, including Governor Greg Abbott (Texas), Governor John Bel Edwards (La.), Governor Asa Hutchinson (Ark.), and Governor Phil Murphy (N.J.).

Participants from the White House Coronavirus Task Force:

  • Secretary Alex Azar, HHS
  • Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator
  • Doug Hoelscher, Assistant to the President and Director, White House Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Director Anthony Fauci, M.D., National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), HHS
  • General Gustave Perna, Chief Operation Officer, Operation Warp Speed (OWS), U.S. Army Materiel Command, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Paul Ostrowski, Director for Supply, Production, and Distribution, OWS
  • Additional Federal Participants

Since January 2020, the Trump Administration has organized and hosted 40 governors-only briefings to drive effective communication and collaboration at every level of government. These briefings total more than 55 hours that included governors’ sharing best practices and asking questions more than 350 times. Public health incidents, like natural disasters, are locally executed, state-managed, and federally supported.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to [email protected]. Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: October 30, 2020

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