Who does things better than New York? When it comes to vaccinating against COVID-19, almost everybody.
The latest numbers from Bloomberg show that central plains states and rural states like West Virginia are leading the charge, while New York, California, and other urban states are far behind.
Smaller, redder states have been more successful than media coverage would suggest. Look at the rankings for Covid-19 vaccine doses given and you’ll see West Virginia, Alaska, North and South Dakota, and Utah ranking high. These states benefit from having fewer people to vaccinate—and only a few large health systems operate in North and South Dakota, allowing for easier logistics and nimbler vaccination plans— but they aren’t without geographical difficulties. Yet many of their governors have been pilloried in the press. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, a common target, began planning her state’s vaccine rollout in mid-summer, well before the federal government gave its own guidance. Noem’s team held daily coordination meetings with local partners, who, in turn, led the distribution and shared lessons learned along the way.
And these governors didn’t lie to the federal government, their state legislators, and the general public about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes like other governors (cough, Cuomo, cough).