Berrien Co. commissioner advocates for expedited vaccines in White House visit

NOW: Berrien Co. commissioner advocates for expedited vaccines in White House visit

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- Government officials met for the “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine summit Tuesday and one of those being invited to the White House was a Berrien County commissioner.

Ninth District Commissioner Ezra Scott said this isn’t the first time he’s been to the White House and through the relationships he’s built, he was one of just about 20 people invited to witness the rollout of coronavirus vaccinations and an authorization by President Donald Trump to give first access to Americans for vaccines made in the United States.

“I want to ask several leaders who have been crucial in this effort to join me onstage as I sign the Executive Order to ensure American citizens have first priority to receive American vaccines,” said President Trump.

Scott also used the opportunity to advocate for 75,000 vaccines to be expedited to Berrien County in addition to the 1,000 reserved for frontline workers, rather than waiting for them to be distributed to the general public by the state.

“Anything the federal government gives to the state of Michigan it seems like Detroit gets everything first – all the bigger cities – and Berrien County gets thrown a dog bone every now and then,” said Scott.

While essential workers and those who are medically vulnerable will still get priority, Scott’s mission with the 75,000 shots is to give them to small businesses in the county so they can get back open.

“I’m here for all of Berrien County – all 156,000 residents – but if I can get 75,000 vaccines, if you have all of the businesses and their workers, if those people get vaccinated, why can’t they reopen?”

Scott said if he’s successful, it could make the difference between a small business going under or surviving.

“I’m just trying to open it up and see if we can get it for our local businesses because they’re going to be way down on that priority list.”

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