Cuomo Rebuffs de Blasio, Reiterates Only Healthcare Workers and Nursing Home Get Vaccine

In this March 2, 2020 file photo New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and Mayor Bill de Blasio appear at a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

“If you want to complain about accountability, know your facts,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo, mere minutes after Mayor Bill de Blasio ended a press conference filled with criticism of Cuomo’s handling of the vaccination rollout.

The two men, long enemies, have engaged in a very public argument over the week, each blaming the other and the federal government for the sluggish vaccine distribution throughout New York.

Cuomo has blamed hospitals for the slow distribution, and announced yesterday that all hospitals are required to use their allotment of vaccines within 7-days, or risk losing the right to give out vaccines.

The state will set up and oversee drive-by vaccine centers at the Javits Center in Manhattan and on State University of New York and City University of New York campuses.

At his own press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio argued that the state’s guidelines on who could be vaccinated were too restrictive, and left millions of desperate New Yorkers waiting for vaccines while hospitals struggled to distribute all their doses.

Both have criticized the federal government for not providing enough vaccinations and for not providing funding for vaccination distribution, leaving the state and city to shoulder the additional costs.

In an open letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and CDC Director Robert Redfield, de Blasio called on the federal government to maximize vaccine production and distribution.

“We can all get all these pieces worked through and work as one – federal, State, local government to get things done,” said de Blasio. “I hope we will see is clear answers from the federal government in these next few days. I know the current administration is leaving office in about two weeks, but there’s still a lot of good they could do and help us to reach as many people as possible with the vaccine.”


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