Yaroslavsky on Role of Unwieldy Government in Vaccine Rollout

In a Los Angeles Times article about California’s chaotic distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin, spoke about the role played by unwieldy county governments. “The weakness of the county governance structure reveals itself when there’s a life-and-death issue like coronavirus,” said Yaroslavsky, a former Los Angeles County supervisor. Most California counties are governed by an elected board of supervisors, meaning there is no single executive in charge. In the early days of the vaccine rollout, L.A. County’s enormous size — 10 million people — created an additional hurdle. Yaroslavsky said strong, decisive leadership is key. “You have to have someone in charge who is the field general who says, ‘We’re marching this way. I’ve taken into account all the evidence,’ ” he said. “And everyone marches in lockstep.”

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