New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that COVID vaccines would be given to drug addicts in rehabilitation facilities prior to elderly citizens living outside of nursing homes.
The declaration came during a press conference in Albany, New York on Monday.
It is a curious decision considering the governor is currently embroiled in a scandal in which he has been accused of taking actions that led to thousands of unnecessary deaths of senior citizens.
Cuomo’s logic is based on getting the vaccine to people in ‘congregate’ locations such as those in facilities operated by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, or OASAS.
“These are congregate facilities. Congregate facilities are problematic. That’s where you have a lot of people in concentration,” he said.
“Nursing homes are obviously the most problematic because they’re congregate plus older, vulnerable people,” Cuomo continued. “OASAS facilities, what we call the O facilities, they’re congregate — not necessarily older — but congregate facilities.”
New York administered vaccines to nursing home residents and front-line health care workers last week.
BREAKING: Governor Cuomo has prioritized the vaccination of drug addicts in rehab over the elderly in the State of New York. pic.twitter.com/HJlovIubdz
— @amuse (@amuse) December 30, 2020
Cuomo Criticized For Prioritizing Drug Addicts Over The Elderly
Governor Andrew Cuomo was quickly eviscerated for his plan to inoculate drug addicts before the elderly.
Rep. Elise Stefanik called the New York Democrat an “absolute disgrace” and the “worst governor in America” over the move.
“The Worst Governor in America streak continues,” the Republican congresswoman tweeted. “This time prioritizing vaccines for drug addicts over tens of thousands of seniors who have been homebound since the start of the pandemic. An absolute disgrace.”
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
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, whose husband’s parents were both victims of COVID-19, and in whom nursing homes in New York played a part, also offered commentary.
Former New York Post columnist Fred Dicker posted a claim from a “longtime radio listener” that they were appalled that a nursing home in Albany County had yet to receive their vaccinations when Cuomo announced the rehab center prioritization.
“One of (the) biggest nursing homes in Albany County, filled with at-risk seniors, still hasn’t gotten the vaccine, same with assisted living, and Cuomo is giving it to drug addicts?” the listener claimed.
Dean replied by pointing out that it isn’t just drug addicts, but “members of Congress and their staff members are cutting the line” as well.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 30, 2020
Priorities Are Skewed
New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, a Democrat, also criticized putting drug addicts in front of the elderly or those with underlying conditions.
“NYS is continuing to demonstrate the most bizarre priorities,” Deutsch wrote.
“There are several million seniors and immuno-compromised New York State residents,” he continued. “As the folks with the highest death rates from COVID, why are they not at the top of the list?”
NYS is continuing to demonstrate the most bizarre priorities.
There are several million seniors and immuno-compromised New York State residents. As the folks with the highest death rates from COVID, why are they not at the top of the list? https://t.co/uCa3IcCU7o
— Councilman Deutsch (@ChaimDeutsch) December 29, 2020
Last week, Dean obliterated Governor Cuomo after he alleged Santa would be good to him on Christmas because he “worked hard this year.”
“Worked hard to help kill seniors, jobs and New York State in general?” she fired back.
Worked hard to help kill seniors, jobs and New York State in general?
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) December 21, 2020
Cuomo famously issued an executive order forcing nursing homes to take on patients that had tested positive for coronavirus.
The order prohibited facilities from requiring incoming patients “to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission,” and may have contributed to well over 6,600 deaths in New York.
The CDC unfortunately made it optional for nursing homes to report COVID deaths in March, April and early May, when NY’s pandemic was at its worst.
— Bill Hammond (@NYHammond) September 8, 2020
“Just a reminder that [Cuomo] ordered over 6,000 Covid patients into nursing homes for 46 days, didn’t use the Javits Center or the Comfort ship that were provided by the federal government, and is still lying about the total number of seniors that died from it,” tweeted Dean.
Cuomo, the leader of a state which had by far the highest number of COVID-related deaths of which seniors suffered a disproportionate percentage, is currently selling a book about how he conquered the pandemic.
The percentage of New Yorkers who tested positive for COVID-19 went from 5.8 percent to 8.3 percent over the three-day Christmas weekend.
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