FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Even though Kentucky is doing quite well in the race to get its citizens vaccinated against COVID-19, Monday’s news conference was not meant to be a victory lap for Gov. Andy Beshear.
“There’s a lot of articles, or a lot of attention on how State A is doing against State B,” Beshear said. “We’ve got to get all of America to the point we need to be at to ultimately get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Beshear welcomed a handful of Kentuckians to the rotunda outside his office, where one of them became the one-millionth recipient of the vaccine since the state received its first allotment three months ago. That number represents roughly 25 percent of the state’s population and more than one-quarter of its adult population.
“Thanks to a significant increase in supply from the federal government, and thanks to an aggressive strategy to build out vaccinations sites, we are significantly ahead of where we thought we’d be on December the 12th," Beshear said when asked if this milestone met, or exceeded his expectations. He even feels as if Kentucky will beat the optimistic timeline that’s been set at the White House.
“The president talking about July Fourth is under-promising, and hoping to over-perform. We’re certainly going to out-perform that goal in Kentucky,” Beshear said in response to a question about how soon it’ll be before people can gather in moderately-sized groups.
For the governor, who was joined in the rotunda by First Lady Britainy Beshear, Monday’s announcement was bittersweet given another milestone we’re about to reach as a state.
“This week we’ll likely mark losing over 5,000 Kentuckians to COVID-19,” Beshear said, before adding that receiving the vaccine is one of many ways in which to honor those we’ve lost to the virus.
But most of the talk Monday centered around that seven-figure number the state reached in just about 90 days since the December vaccine roll-out.
“That is good news. The better news is, it (our vaccination pace) keeps picking up,” the governor said.