Philadelphia House Democratic Delegation responds to allegations against Philly Fighting COVID

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – The Philadelphia House Democratic Delegation sent a letter today to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley demanding answers to the COVID-19 vaccine problems between the city and Philly Fighting COVID, the organization tasked with administering vaccines to Philadelphia residents, according to the delegation’s chairman, state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila.

“This is a completely unacceptable turn of events,” Dawkins said. “The people of Philadelphia have relied on the city to ensure they are able to access vaccines in this critical time, and if this organization is who was designated to do the job, not only did they fail to vaccinate but also failed the people of the city by then compromising their personal information. What’s worse, to then learn the organization’s CEO was allegedly taking vaccine home. If this is true, it is completely unacceptable. How did this organization even get chosen to administer the city’s plan? It is disturbing and upsetting, and answers must be given. We all have a right to know.”

“People in my district are struggling to get the vaccine while this guy is taking them home,” said state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila. “I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that what he did was illegal, and he needs to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Kenyatta represents the 181st Legislative District in north Philadelphia, one of the communities hit hardest by the health and financial impact of COVID-19 in both the city and the across the commonwealth.

The letter said “we ask that the city and the Department of Public Health get answers to these questions at once. We hope that these allegations are not true, but if one or both are, the residents of Philadelphia deserve swift action and an extensive review of how this was permitted to happen.”

"The public's trust is sacred," said state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila. "That is especially true during a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 21,000 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and beloved neighbors. Families are scared and looking for answers about how to stay healthy and safe and how to get the vaccine. The recent development of a vaccine that will help us find our way beyond this pandemic has been a glimmer of hope for many of us. To see an agency that proclaimed to want to do good for the people of Philadelphia betray the public trust under these circumstances is unconscionable. The people deserve answers, and if there was any wrongdoing, those responsible must be held accountable."

The letter goes on to say “We are hopeful that those running Philly Fighting COVID will do as they say and perform an audit to prove their claims that no personal information was shared. We would also hope that the Department of Public Health performs an investigation into whether vaccine was taken off site.”

“This should never happen again,” Dawkins said. “We want to see the city get to the bottom of all of this and get back to the task at hand, which is vaccinating our residents, particularly our most vulnerable populations who are currently in line for this potentially life-saving vaccination.”

Please find a copy of the letter sent to the Mayor’s office here.