Recovering addicts are a higher priority demographic than the elderly in New York State in Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s rollout plan for the long-anticipated COVID vaccine.
On Monday, Cuomo announced that New York would be receiving about 259,000 more doses of vaccine from both Pfizer and Moderna, according to the New York Post. Explaining the next phase of the plan to distribute the vaccine to the public, Cuomo announced that the state would be prioritizing urgent care center employees, local health department staff, and residents of the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) addiction treatment facilities. Cuomo argued that these “congregate facilities” pose a high risk of transmission of the disease.
“Congregate facilities are problematic. That’s where you have a lot of people in concentration,” Cuomo said during the press briefing, careful to note that nursing homes are “obviously the most problematic because they’re congregate plus older, vulnerable people.”
“OASAS facilities, what we call the O facilities, they’re congregate—not necessarily older—but congregate facilities,” he continued.
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) scolded Gov. Cuomo for “prioritizing vaccines for drug addicts over tens of thousands of seniors who have been home bound since the start of the pandemic.”
His admission, that residents of addiction treatment facilities are taking priority in the distribution of the vaccine, drew ire from Stefanik, who referred to him as the “worst governor in America”:
The Worst Governor in America streak continues …
This time prioritizing vaccines for drug addicts over tens of thousands of seniors who have been home bound since the start of the pandemic.
An absolute disgrace👇 https://t.co/jwBvpv3Yec
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) December 28, 2020
For his part, one of Gov. Cuomo’s spokespeople told Fox News that Cuomo disputed Stefanik’s characterization of the vaccine rollout plan, noting that nursing home residents would still be receiving the vaccine.
As of Monday, Cuomo revealed that 140,000 New Yorkers had received their first doses of the vaccine, upon which he said a“post-COVID [coronavirus] future” depends.
According to Breitbart, over 2.1 million Americans have received the first dose of the vaccine so far.
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