Congress-ruled states raised doubts on Covid vaccines: Harsh Vardhan

Vardhan said the second wave of Covid-19 was fueled by Congress-ruled states as they were busy raising doubts about vaccines rather than vaccinating people
A day after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi — called for ramping up vaccine supply and being transparent with states in their distribution, health minister Harsh Vardhan hit back.

Vardhan said the second wave of Covid-19 was fueled by Congress-ruled states as they were busy raising doubts about vaccines rather than vaccinating people. He also said a decision on a point in the letter on allowing import of vaccines had already been taken a week ahead, on April 11, 2021.

He added, same is the case with Singh’s suggestion regarding providing funds and other concessions to augment vaccine manufacturing. This decision had also been taken many days before receipt of your letter and multiple vaccine manufacturing entities have been funded by the government to immediately enhance production, Harsh Vardhan said.

“Anyway, despite such factual inaccuracies, we understand your deep concern for the country and also assure you that we share the same,” the minister said.
“Irresponsible public pronouncements made by some Congress leaders have resulted in below-national-average vaccination coverage of senior citizens and frontline workers in some Congress-ruled states,” Vardhan said. “Let alone thanking our scientists, many Congress members and Congress-ruled state governments have taken extraordinary interest in spreading falsehoods regarding the efficacy of these vaccines. They fuelled vaccine hesitancy, and played with the lives of our countrymen,” Vardhan said.

Vardhan said the former Prime Minister’s advice to not get tempted to go by the absolute numbers, but by percentage of population covered, is not incorrect.

“A sitting chief minister of your party created a dubious world record of sorts by being the only head of government directly inciting people against an indigenously developed vaccine! Some Congress leaders even shamed the vaccines in public but took their doses in private,” he alleged. 

“It does seem that those who drafted your letter or advised you, have done a great disservice to your standing by misleading you regarding material that is already in public domain,” the health minister said.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot rapped Vardhan for his “politically motivated” response to Singh’s letter, saying it was “unfortunate and condemnable.”

History shall be kinder to you Dr Manmohan Singh ji if your offer of ‘constructive cooperation’ and valuable advice was followed by your @INCIndia leaders as well in such extraordinary times !

Here’s my reply to your letter to Hon’ble PM Sh @narendramodi ji  @PMOIndia

— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) April 19, 2021
Gehlot said Singh had written to his successor giving positive suggestions about vaccination in public interest. There was no criticism of the government, the Rajasthan chief minister said.

“It is unfortunate and condemnable on part of the Union health minister to have written a politically-motivated reply to the former prime minister,” Gehlot tweeted.

Singh on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Modi suggesting five measures to battle the Covid-19 crisis, including ramping up vaccination and boosting the supply of medicines

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