(AP) — Public health workers in South Carolina have been tasked with keeping the state safe for 143 years, ever since a health board was created following a yellow fever outbreak in 1878.
Now, as the coronavirus pandemic surges, legislators are trying to break their agency apart. South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control is responsible not only for vaccine distribution, but things like pollution permits for coal plants. It’s a sprawling agency with nearly 4,000 workers.
The senate president would break it up, a move endorsed by the governor. The new director asked for a year to improve the pandemic response, but they aren’t cutting him any slack.