From The Desk Of Dick Harpootlian

Dear Friend :

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have received a number of emails and phone calls regarding your concerns about distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. For those of you who are over 70, many of you have messaged me letting me know you have received the first round of your vaccine and are scheduled for your second. I am delighted to hear that and intend to continue our efforts to make the vaccine available as safely, quickly, and broadly as possible. But there is a growing chorus of folks who are in their 60s, have underlying medical conditions or take care of family members who are immunocompromised that need to be vaccinated as soon as possible. DHEC’s phase chart states that South Carolinians who are 65+ and/or immunocompromised are not eligible until early spring to receive the vaccine. This is unconscionable.  

I have strongly disagreed with Governor McMaster’s response to the Coronavirus Pandemic since it first hit South Carolina in March 2020. Our Governor has failed to follow the recommendations of scientists and medical experts — from allowing super spreader events, to not leading on wearing a mask in public, and to overseeing an ineffective vaccine rollout that puts South Carolina near the bottom of the 50 states.

Today I read an article about the success that West Virginia has had in administering the vaccine to its populace. West Virginia recruited local and chain pharmacies, which are imbedded throughout their communities, to administer vaccines, and this enabled a quicker, more efficient process than almost any other state. Many states have opened their vaccinations to 60 or 65+ and people who are immunocompromised. I ask you, why can’t South Carolina do these things to protect our populace?

I am providing you with Governor McMaster’s contact information in case you wanted to let him know that he needs to do a better job protecting our most vulnerable citizens to a disease that has already taken over 6000 of our family, friends, and coworkers. If you wish to contact Governor McMaster by phone, call (803) 734-2100 or by email. To email the Governor, you will need to fill out a form found here:

Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you,