PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Congressman Bob Brady says he would advocate directly with President Joe Biden to get more vaccine for Philadelphia. He’s joining other lawmakers for a mass vaccine site at Lincoln Financial Field in what’s being called “Operation Philly Special.”
Philadelphia Councilmember Allan Domb led a group of city leaders Wednesday outside the Linc and laid out a proposal to use the stadium as a mass vaccination clinic.
“‘Operation Philly Special’ is the playbook that brings all of the city’s assets to bear,” Domb said.
Officials say if Mayor Jim Kenney approved the plan, the site could administer thousands of doses a day.
“I texted the mayor to actually join us. We want him here, want to work with him,” Domb said, adding that Kenney never responded.
Some city leaders worry a site at the Linc would attract too many people from out of state at a time doses remain extremely limited.
Brady doesn’t buy that.
“There’s such a thing as called an ID,” Brady said.
Brady adds he would advocate on behalf of the city directly with the president.
But the Kenney administration also says it’s working to prioritize communities of color. A city spokesman told Eyewitness News in a statement, “We ask Councilman Domb and other supporters this: are you deliberately trying to ensure that white privileged suburban residents of other counties and states are prioritized for vaccination over Black and brown taxpayers of Philadelphia? Because that is what this plan will do.”
A Philadelphia spokesperson sent us this statement in response: pic.twitter.com/UNVgZPlnwX
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) February 10, 2021
Former Mayor John Street is among those in support of the vaccine site at Lincoln Financial Field.
“We have to do this now, people,” Street said. “If we don’t do it now, it’ll be too late.”
“This is about saving lives. This is a moment for us to come together to ensure we’re doing everything we can on behalf of the people we serve,” Philadelphia Councilwoman Katherine Gilmore Richardson said.
The mayor’s office is considering other locations for mass vaccine sites that are expected to open by the end of the month. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley also said on Tuesday he would consider the Linc in the future if more doses become available.