Brown has to backtrack after promising vaccine to too many groups
Governor Kate Brown held a press conference to try to settle the uproar that has fomented as she has waffled between her promises to provide vaccines to seniors on the one hand and teachers on the other, pitting the vulnerable elderly against the deep-pocketed teachers' unions who have supported her in the past.
"I have prioritized protecting seniors since day one of this response and, as a result, Oregon is faring better than nearly every other state in the nation in protecting vulnerable seniors," said Governor Brown. "Oregon has the second lowest COVID-19 infection rate among seniors in the country, and the third lowest death rate among people 65 and older. Just this past week, we completed first dose vaccinations for all seniors living in nursing homes who wanted the vaccine."
The final claim -- completion of the first dose vaccines for seniors in nursing homes -- has been disputed since she made it.
"I first made the commitment at the end of last year to vaccinate Oregon’s educators and school staff, and I reaffirmed that commitment last week. Educators can be vaccinated quickly, district by district. This choice represents a rapid action that will have an outsized impact on Oregon kids. If we were to vaccinate every Oregon senior first, the harsh reality is that many of our educators would not get vaccinated this school year—and Oregon kids would continue to suffer.
"If we were to reverse that, and prioritize the needs of Oregon kids, it puts a two-week delay on beginning vaccinations for seniors who live independently. I know so many Oregon grandparents are happy to hold out just two more weeks in an effort to help get their grandchildren back into the classroom as quickly and safely as possible.
"I also know there are many Oregonians who are eager to get the vaccine. The harsh reality is we are managing a scarce resource right now. Time and time again this pandemic has forced difficult choices. And even in tough times, I continue to be inspired by the extraordinary ways Oregonians lift one another up and work together."
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
In the clip below, which lasts 4:09, KOIN 6 News' Lisa Balick corners the Governor, asking "When it comes to giving out the shots to teachers and other educators why not at least require a school district to have a signed agreement with their teachers' union that their teachers agree to go back this year, if vaccinated?" Governor Brown filibusters with what a great job her administration has done to make schools safer, but no comment on why no agreement. Undaunted, Balick essentially, asks the same, still unanswered question. "But why not a promise to go back, if you get a shot?"
The Governor -- through tightly pursed lips -- brags again about providing schools with support, fails to answer the question, and abruptly ends the press conference.