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State Sen. McClendon: Alabama low vaccination rate highlights need for ‘reorganization’ of state health bureaucracy

Statistics have not painted a pretty picture for Alabama’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, and it’s time to start asking Alabama health officials questions why according to State Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville).

McClendon, chair of the Senate Health Committee, commented on a panel of policymakers tasked to review the state’s response to the pandemic, noting that the stated intention was not to “throw rocks.”

However, during an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, McClendon said it was time to take a critical approach on reviewing the state’s COVID response.

“The one statement that I saw about that group is that it was not put together to throw rocks at anybody or find fault with somebody’s activities,” he said. “Well, let me tell you — Alabama’s response to getting the COVID vaccine available was unquestionably the worst in the nation. And right now, our vaccination rate is the lowest in the nation. And my opinion is it is time to throw some rocks. Folks, there needs to be some reorganization, name-calling and changes in the way that’s done because we perform miserably and are continuing to perform miserably in dealing with this pandemic.”

The St. Clair County lawmaker said he did not have a specific remedy to increase vaccine rates but suggested Alabama look to other states for ways to improve.

“There’s got to be something that can be done,” McClendon said. “I’m not too sure what it is. You know, the real bottom-line on whether or not to get a vaccination is not difficult at all. If you don’t want to get COVID and don’t want to bring it home, then you need to go get a vaccination. And if you don’t care whether you get COVID or not, then don’t worry about it. That’s the issue. I’m telling you, as someone who was in the hospital, I think, 11 days with it — it is not a cakewalk, and it is not fun. It’s strikes, folks, and with this new Delta variant going on now, what a mystery. But you ask a great question — and that question is how do you get folks to go get a shot if they’re resistant to it. Well, here in Alabama and I’m sure the rest of America, folks don’t want to be told what to do. I’m not sure where we’re going. But I will assure you there’s 49 states out there that have done a better job than us. I think the first thing I would do is send some emissaries out to other states to find out what they’re doing differently.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

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