SC mayor calls on Chick-fil-A to help with COVID vaccine traffic backup: 'Call the pros'
Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie says Chick-fil-A manager Jerry Walkowiak helped provide ‘a retail mindset’ and got the wait time down from one hour to 15 minutes.
The mayor of a South Carolina town explained on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday what prompted him to call a local Chick-fil-A manager when a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site got backed up last week, saying the manager helped provide "a retail mindset."
Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie said Chick-fil-A manager Jerry Walkowiak was able to get the wait time down from one hour to 15 minutes following problems that arose from a computer glitch.
"This was Jerry helping out his community when it mattered most," Haynie told host Steve Doocy.
On Friday, the computer glitch caused a traffic backup at a vaccine clinic in Mount Pleasant, leaving people stuck waiting for up to an hour, Haynie explained. He said he then contacted Walkowiak given his drive-thru expertise and requested backup to help reorganize.
"Right at the start the registration went down," Haynie explained on Wednesday, noting that he doesn’t know what happened.
He pointed out that The Medical University of South Carolina collaborated with two local hospitals for the vaccine drive, which was held in the "huge campus" of a Mount Pleasant church located across the street from the Chick-fil-A Walkowiak manages. Haynie said more than 1,000 people registered to get the vaccine that day.
"Right at the start something happened and it was backed up and I had planned to call Jerry anyway, just to get general advice, but when this happened, I needed him very quickly," Haynie said.
"Jerry came over and got us fixed," he added.
Haynie tweeted a video on Friday of Walkowiak directing traffic as he stood in the rain with an umbrella and wrote, "Chic Fil A manager Jerry Walkowiak donating his professional drive thru experience to help our vaccination program in Mt Pleasant today."
"When you need help, call the pros," he went on to write.
Footage of the good deed has gone viral, racking up over 33,000 views since hitting the internet on Jan. 22.
"What Jerry did was he helped us go from a medical type mindset, where you pull up and speak to one person, to a retail mindset, where you figure out how to get as many cars through the first entrance as you can," Haynie explained, adding that the wait time went from an hour to about 15 minutes.
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A Inc. told Fox News that the vaccination site was located just across the street from the restaurant.
As of Wednesday morning, South Carolina had reported more than 423,600 cases of coronavirus among residents, with nearly 6,600 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Fox News’ Janine Puhak contributed to this report.