After the blame game lands on Cuomo, more New Yorkers can get vaccinated

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor Cuomo abruptly announced that New Yorkers in the 1B group can get vaccinated starting next week.

After the blame game lands on Cuomo, more New Yorkers can get vaccinated

It looks like essential workers and the elderly can start getting vaccinated on Monday
January 8, 2021

At the end of his Friday press briefing, Governor Cuomo announced that New Yorkers in the 1B group can register to get vaccinated starting next week. For many, the gap between registration and vaccination could be months, but hospitals with extra doses and nowhere to put them are allowed to administer the vaccine to essential workers and the elderly on Monday, as long as their health care workers still receive prioritization. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would be moving ahead with 1B vaccinations, and it remains to be seen if this will be sanctioned by Cuomo or not.

These developments come at the end of a week of bickering and finger pointing, where the author of ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” was looking more and more like the author of New York’s latest pandemic crisis. After using his Monday press conference to blast everyone else for poor management, the blame game backfired, and many New Yorkers felt the embarrassingly and deadly slow rate of vaccination was Cuomo’s fault.

In a NY1 interview on Monday evening, de Blasio called the governor arrogant for threatening healthcare professionals with $100,000 fines and disqualification from future vaccine shipments, and petitioned the state to expand eligibility to first responders and other essential workers. He walked some of this sentiment back the next day, saying “his emotions got the better of him,” but has continued to push for the loosening of restrictions on who can get the vaccine.

Multiple county leaders also spoke at a New York State Association of Counties news conference this week to push back against Cuomo’s critique, and ask the state to allow them to enact local vaccination plans that were originally discarded in favor of a more centralized approach. The Cuomo administration has agreed to work more with county leadership moving forward.

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A slide from Governor Cuomo's Monday press conference.
Alt Text: 
A slide from Governor Cuomo's Monday press conference.
Title Text: 
A slide from Governor Cuomo's Monday press conference.
Caption: 
A slide from Governor Cuomo's Monday press conference.
Description: 
A slide from Governor Cuomo's Monday press conference.
Image Credit: 
Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Meanwhile, a number of damningarticles have detailed how many vaccine doses are sitting in freezers on the cusp of expiration, or in some cases have even been thrown out. Team Cuomo’s response was to invite hospitals who have reached their “refusal rate” to alert the Department of Health, so they can reallocate the extra vaccines to other healthcare workers in the state. 

De Blasio revealed on The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday that the state DOH is investigating Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital for violating guidelines to vaccinate school and city employees before they were eligible, stoking further criticism of the governor. As calls for expanding eligibility reached a fever pitch, even the secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services said “there is no reason that states need to complete, say, vaccinating all health care providers before opening up vaccinations to older Americans or other especially vulnerable populations”. 

Earlier today, one of the governor’s spokespersons likened the expansion to giving up on those un-vaccinated in the initial 1A group of healthcare workers.

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Caitlin Dorman
is City & State's Digital Marketing Strategist.
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