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Under Sununu’s Watch, New Hampshire is the Only State to Reject Federal Vaccination Funds

Sununu Had Tried to Have It Both Ways on Vaccinations — and Today He Lost

CONCORD -- After months of amplifying anti-vaccine rhetoric and opposing vaccine requirements, Chris Sununu’s words came back to haunt him as his own Executive Council rejected federal funding for vaccine outreach in New Hampshire. Today’s vote makes New Hampshire the only state in the country to reject these federal funds. “Today’s vote was a stunning failure by Chris Sununu and shows just how much he has abdicated leadership of the state’s handling of the pandemic and efforts to vaccinate more Granite Staters,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “For months Sununu enabled anti-vaccine rhetoric and loudly opposed vaccine requirements — and today he reaped what he sowed. The Governor’s inability to convince his own party to accept federal funding for much-needed public health measures shows a complete lack of leadership and is a defeat for public health in our state. We’re grateful for the leadership of Councilor Cinde Warmington who too often is the only voice on the Council standing up for Granite Staters’ health and safety.” For months, Sununu has told outright lies about vaccine requirements and even promised to sue the Biden administration over vaccine requirements. But Sununu’s anti-vax rhetoric and actions only further emboldened the anti-vax fringe, who have protested him three different times (including today) and demanded that he do more to oppose common sense vaccine and testing requirements. Sununu was unable to appease the anti-vaxxer mob. Nor, based on his own statements before the meeting, does it appear that he did any work to try to convince his Republican Executive Councilors to support the contract, and as a result, New Hampshire is now the only state in the country not to accept the federal funds through the American Rescue Plan which would have created 12 new positions for immunization purposes. This blow to New Hampshire’s efforts to combat COVID-19 comes when New Hampshire’s vaccination rate is largely stagnant and ranks last in New England.