That means Maryland will receive about 80,000 fewer Johnson & Johnson doses this week, he said. But he added that because of the FEMA site and slight increases in Pfizer and Moderna allocations, they will be able to keep all scheduled appointments.
“It is a little bit of an issue we are scrambling to try to correct,” Hogan said. “I don’t know the reason for it. Nobody has really given us a good explanation.”
He said the White House assured state officials as recently as Thursday that there would be no disruptions to supply.
As Hogan on Wednesday celebrated the opening of the FEMA-run site in Greenbelt, where 3,000 shots per day will be administered, he received an unexpected rebuke from Greenbelt Mayor Colin Byrd.
Byrd expressed gratitude to the federal government for opening the site — where 65 percent of shots will be reserved for Prince George’s residents — and sharply criticized Hogan for what he called one of the most inequitable vaccine rollouts in the country, saying that Hogan had “chosen on many occasions to scapegoat people of color across the state as people who simply do not want the vaccine.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Byrd said, adding that scores of people of color have struggled to secure appointments and noting that Prince George’s County continues to have the lowest vaccination rates in the state.
Byrd, who has led the city of 23,000 since 2019, also levied criticism against County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) for reopening its schools, despite some opposition from teachers.
Alsobrooks said she understands and respects the concerns of teachers but added that everyone returning to the classroom had access to vaccination.
“It does not take talent to spot a problem,” she said. “It takes much more talent and commitment to fix it.”
When Hogan asked Byrd, who spoke for nearly 10 minutes, to “wrap it up,” Byrd retorted, “You’re in my city, sir.”
Byrd, who has said he is going to challenge U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) next year, continued speaking even when an organizer moved to take away the microphone.
Hogan said he disagreed with “every word that he said.”
“It denigrates the incredible partnership we have had with Prince George’s County,” he said. “The mayor has had nothing to do with our vaccine effort or this site and didn’t have any idea what he was talking about.”
After visiting Greenbelt, Hogan headed to Montgomery County’s first mass vaccination site in Germantown. The Montgomery College site, which was launched after weeks of back-and-forth between local and state officials, has been administering about 1,300 doses a day for two weeks. Starting Thursday, the state will be expanding the site’s supply of doses with the goal of vaccinating 3,000 people daily by April 15.
“This is an important day; we’ve been waiting for it,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, who along with county lawmakers asked the state for a mass vaccination site as early as February. “This is going to be a big step forward for Montgomery County.”
Like Byrd, Elrich (D) has been openly critical of Hogan’s reopening decisions, including his surprise announcement in March to lift capacity limits on most businesses. Montgomery’s health officer, Travis Gayles, on Tuesday told county lawmakers that it was “not factually true” for the Hogan administration to imply that the recent statewide uptick in infections was driven by travel and not by reopening.
Standing next to Hogan on Wednesday, however, Elrich struck a more conciliatory tone.
“People have disagreements,” he said, adding that opening the mass vaccination site was an example of the state and local government working together. The county is operating the site but needed state support to ramp up its supply of doses.
In an interview following the news event, Elrich said he stands by his view that the state should consider reimposing restrictions on certain activities.
“[Hogan] knows my opinions,” he said. “At some point, I don’t get the need to get into a perpetual fight with him for the sake of it.”
Meanwhile, Hogan addressed concerns about long lines this week for those without appointments at the state’s Hagerstown mass vaccination site, saying the vaccinations there “went as they should.”
“Hagerstown was great,” he said, adding that the state had warned in announcements that there would be a limited number of doses available for walk-up patients, some of whom waited up to seven hours Tuesday for their shots.
Still, Hogan on Wednesday encouraged everyone to preregister at the state site so they would be guaranteed appointments. He said the 250 walk-up appointments that were offered were filled.
“Some people unfortunately got turned away,” he said. “They should probably just schedule an appointment so they can get that taken care of.”
Michael Ricci, a Hogan spokesman, had said Tuesday that 250 walk-up patients at Hagerstown had been vaccinated by 1 p.m. On Wednesday, following pushback from residents who said the pace of vaccinations was slower, he corrected his statement, saying that 290 walk-up patients had been vaccinated by the end of the day.
Hogan added that the state doesn’t yet have the doses to introduce walk-up lines at all mass sites but hopes to increase the number of locations that offer them. Currently, only the sites in Hagerstown and Salisbury take walk-ups, although Hogan tweeted Wednesday that the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore will take “a limited number of” walk-ups beginning Friday.
Maryland reported 1,471 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, with 11 deaths. Virginia reported 1,550 new cases and 14 deaths, while the District reported 94 new cases and two deaths. The seven-day averages of new cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise in Maryland, with both numbers Wednesday reaching rates not seen since mid-February.