South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas and Chairman Weston Newton announced the formation of a Legislative Oversight Ad Hoc Committee, tasked with reviewing the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s receipt and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, in the following letter to W. Marshall Taylor, Jr. the Acting Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control:
“I have consulted with Chairman Newton regarding the challenges faced across the state with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. As the efficient and effective receipt and distribution of these vaccines to the people of South Carolina is a vital task of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, we believe legislative oversight review of these issues is necessary. The purpose of the review is to obtain facts to help inform legislative policy decisions and identify actions that should be taken by the General Assembly, the Department and private providers to get vaccines to every South Carolinian, as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible.
As time is of the essence and at my request, Chairman Newton has appointed an ad hoc committee that will meet on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Chairman Newton and I respectfully request participation and cooperation from you and any appropriate public health officials as the committee reviews the Department’s receipt and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
We know that South Carolina is not alone in experiencing widespread frustration with the administering of vaccines, but it is apparent that as a state, we are moving at an unacceptable pace. It is imperative that the process that has been implemented by the Department be improved immediately. This hearing will serve as the first step in identifying and implementing those improvements.”
The following members have been appointed to the ad-hoc committee:
- Rep. Joe Jefferson, Committee Vice-Chair
- Rep. Jay West, Health and Regulatory Subcommittee Chair
- Rep. Bill Hixon, Subcommittee Chair
- Rep. Jeff Johnson, Subcommittee Chair
- Rep. Chris Wooten, Subcommittee Chair
- Rep. Kimberly Johnson
- Rep. Russell Ott