– Rep. Gary W. Day (R-Berks/Lehigh), majority chairman of the House Aging and Older Adults Services Committee, held a public hearing yesterday on the COVID-19 vaccination distribution for older adults and long-term care in the Commonwealth.
The chairman expressed his deep concern that officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Health not only refused to appear before the committee for the public hearing, but refused a six-minute phone call, when requested, to discuss the administrations vaccination rollout plans.
Testifiers included representatives from CVS Health and Walgreens, which Day noted have done an amazing job vaccinating Pennsylvanians in long-term care and assisted living facilities.
“This represents the most vulnerable 10% of the 3 million seniors aged 60 and over in Pennsylvania,” said Day. “It is vital that the administration explain its plan so that Pennsylvanians can follow along and feel that they will be offered the vaccine in the appropriate time.
“The decision of the Acting Secretary of Health, Alision Beam, and her department, to refuse to testify before this committee is the worst thing that a public official can do, especially that of an unelected, appointed official with unprecedented power granted to her by the governor to act in his place.
“I, alongside my colleagues on this committee, continue to stand ready to coordinate and work with this administration to help take care of those individuals who came before us and cared for us.”
Those testifying at the hearing yesterday included Bryan Lowe, regional director of State and Local Government Affairs, Walgreens; David Dederichs, executive director, State Government Affairs, CVS Health; Zach Shamberg, president and CEO, Pennsylvania Health Care Association; and Margie Zelenak, executive director, Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association.