As he so often does, the buck never stops with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he placed the blame for the states pathetically slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC city hospitals
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday pinned the slow coronavirus vaccine rollout on local leaders including Mayor Bill de Blasio — threatening that entities that don’t quickly use their allotted shots will be fined and barred from future shipments.
Of course, as Tusker Daily reported, De Blasio immediately clapped back at Cuomo, blaming him for New York’s stumbling and bumbling coronavirus vaccination plan.
Instead of working on fixing NY’s Pathetic COVID-19 Vaccine rollout.
The Empire state’s two most high-profile leaders are looking very much like two floppy footed circus clowns whacking each other over the head with squeaky toy bats.
Speaking during an Albany press briefing, the governor shifted the blame downhill after his own administration faced fierce criticism for a stumbling launch to the inoculation effort that saw significant quantities of the state’s vaccine stockpile remain on ice.
“We need the public officials to manage those public hospitals,” said Cuomo, arguing that distribution points including the Big Apple’s city-run Health and Hospitals system have dropped the ball.
Cuomo underscored the dig with a PowerPoint slide with photos of local leaders — de Blasio prominent among them — with the all-caps stamp “must manage.”
“I need them to take personal responsibility for their hospitals,” he said. “This is a management issue of the hospitals. They have to move the vaccine, and they have to move the vaccine faster.”
To light a fire under slow local distributors, like Health and Hospitals, the state Department of Health on Sunday sent a letter establishing a use-it-or-lose-it position, Cuomo said.
Providers must use the supplies they’ve thus far been allocated by week’s end or face fines of up to $100,000, Cuomo said.
And going forward, they must use all vaccines within seven days of receipt or face fines — and being cut off from future shipments of the vaccine.
Public and private hospitals statewide have used only about 46 percent of the coronavirus vaccines they have been provided, according to stats Cuomo cited Monday.
While the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System has led the way, with about 99 percent of its allotted shots administered, by contrast, the city’s Health and Hospitals network has used just 31 percent.
“I need those public officials to step in and manage those systems,” said Cuomo. “You have the allocation. We want it in people’s arms as soon as possible.”
State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, speaking during the same press briefing, said Health and Hospitals hasn’t even fared well in vaccinating its own employees, despite being provided a bounty of the precious vaccines.
Of the system’s 23,000 employees eligible to receive the vaccine, only 12,000 have — despite the system being allocated some 38,000 doses, Zucker said.
“Those other 11,000 employees need to get vaccinated,” he said. “There needs to be a sense of urgency there.”
De Blasio, meanwhile, despite a painfully slow first three weeks, vowed on Monday to vaccinate a million city residents in January, and saying it is time for the inoculation effort to break into a “sprint.”