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EDITORIAL: Vaccine task force a good idea

York Dispatch editorial board
A health care worker administers a vaccination at the new Alamodome COVID-19 vaccine site Monday in San Antonio, Texas. Officials say the site is providing 1,500 vaccinations per day.

Thumbs up to state officials who on Tuesday announced a retooling of Pennsylvania's effort to vaccinate residents against COVID-19.

It's no secret that the state's vaccination program has been a failure. Pennsylvania's vaccination rate per 100,000 residents ranks 41st among the states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hopefully, the new task force — composed of members of Gov. Tom Wolf's administration and lawmakers from both parties — can kickstart what's so far been an unforgivably slow rollout. 

Largely foisted upon medical clinics and pharmacies within the private sector, the state's vaccination effort so far has been marked by widespread confusion about who is eligible for the lifesaving vaccine. 

Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians are trying, and too often failing, to secure their places in line for the first shot. So far, Gov. Tom Wolf has blamed a general lack of federal coordination for the shortfalls.

Late last month, frustrated Republican state lawmakers said the National Guard should be called in to organize the statewide effort. 

That plan makes some sense, considering the scale of the program and technical and logistical issues it faces.

The new task force must result in shots quickly entering the arms of Pennsylvanians.

Anything less will cost lives, dollars and Pennsylvania's standing throughout the U.S. 

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., questions Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a Congressional Oversight Commission hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday Dec. 10, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Thumbs up to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey for showing a willingness to at least consider the mountain of evidence against former President Donald. Trump.

Trump's second impeachment trial kicked off this week with partisanship immediately coming to the fore. Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, was among just six Republicans in the U.S. Senate to vote Tuesday to move forward with the trial, in which Trump faces a charge of inciting insurrection after the deadly storming of the Capitol Jan. 6 by a pro-Trump mob.

It was a bad sign for the prosecution, which needs to flip at least 17 Republicans in order to secure a conviction. 

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., leaves the chamber after taking an oath and voting on how to proceed on the impeachment against former President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Forty-four Republican members voted to reject even holding the trial, siding with Trump's attorneys who argued, without much support from the American legal community, that Trump can't be impeached because he's no longer in office. 

So, to be clear, Trump was immune from prosecution while in office. And now, he's immune from impeachment because he's a private citizen. And any call to prosecute Trump for any of the crimes of which he's accused would result in his allies howling about political persecution.

At what point, if any, can the former president be held accountable for any of his actions? If you listen to his supporters, the answer is never.