FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno City Councilmember Mike Karbassi wrote a letter to President Joe Biden, appealing to the president directly for more doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Karbassi blames the low number of vaccinated citizens in the city on the low allocation of vaccines.
A copy of the letter was posted to Twitter on Monday. The councilmember adding to that post that the federal government should step in and ensure there is a proportional amount of vaccine in comparison to the rest of California.
The letter states that there is no hope for economic recovery without the requested doses. The full text is below:
Dear President Biden:
As we face the fallout from this devastating pandemic, I sincerely appreciate your call to action during your inaugural address when you stated “we must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as a nation”. You have taken the first step toward healing.
Though for many in California’s Central Valley, politics is the last thing on their minds right now. Folks are worried about their lives and livelihoods. Whether it’s a senior, a small business owner or a farmworker, all are sharing the heavy burden from this pandemic.
In Fresno, California’s 5th largest city, we are in dire need of help from the federal government to deliver more COVID-19 vaccines to our region. As of today, our country’s health department has suspended operation of our mass vaccination site because of a lack of vaccine supply. This site alone was providing 1,500 vaccinations a day, with a long waiting list of willing residents. This is incredibly disheartening.
Mr. President, I have visited this site several times in the last few weeks. Seeing firsthand the look of relief on the faces of our seniors and critical healthcare workers after they are inoculated is something I’ll never forget. Yet, I continue to receive calls from seniors in my district who are in need of help.
Last week our County requested 38,000 doses but was only provided 8,000 by the state. It’s no wonder the vaccine rate per 1,000 residents in Fresno County is half the state average. Without more vaccines, there is no hope for economic recovery in our economically sensitive region. Herd immunity can only occur with voluntary mass vaccination, so we can safely re-open businesses and our schools.
Next week, I will be asking my colleagues on the Fresno City Council to join me in solidarity of this effort to express our commitment to this cause.
Mr. President, Fresno is ready. Our healthcare workers and community partners are ready to administer 30,000 vaccines a week and that number is growing. Please send more vaccines so that we can get moving again.