ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening legal action against the Trump Administration if they can’t find a way to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine reaches underserved communities in New York.
During the governor’s Sunday address, he said: “COVID killed black people in this country at twice the rate of white people.” The governor says the Trump Administration’s distribution of a COVID-19 vaccination is unfair to minority groups. “The Trump administration is designing the distribution plan and their plan basically has private healthcare companies administer the vaccine: Hospitals, big drugstores, doctor’s offices. We know that our Black and brown and poor communities have fewer health care institutions. Their communities are all too often healthcare deserts. That’s why we have more underlying conditions and that’s why the COVID death toll is so high for black and brown communities. We’re not going to make the same mistake again.”
Cuomo says New York is going to take special efforts to make sure every New Yorker is able to get a vaccine. “The private market alone will not do it. We need to enlist community groups to distribute the vaccine in their community. We need faith-based groups that the community trusts to distribute the vaccine. We need medical teams and outreach teams going into public housing projects and low-income communities. New York State will mobilize an army to vaccinate all New Yorkers fairly, equitably. No state will do it better,” says Gov. Cuomo. However, he says he needs the financial help from the federal government.
Alice Green is the Executive Director of the Center for Law and Justice, a civil rights organization she founded in 1985. Green says it’s important to educate local communities about coronavirus, the vaccine, and what’s going on between the state and federal governments. “Get other people in the community involved like the churches, social centers, whatever it takes to reach that population. We’re going to have to come up with some new ideas, strategies for doing that because it’s difficult to reach out to people who are in poverty and not able to get access to information and services,” says Green.
Gov. Cuomo says throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, minorities have been treated unfairly. “I’m not going to allow New Yorkers to be bullied or to be abused. I’m not going to allow the injustice to continue. Let’s look at the law,” Cuomo stated during his Sunday remarks.
Green says all communities have been affected since the pandemic started in March. “The impact on this virus on people of our community whether it’s food, unemployment, you know a host of problems that the virus has presented,” says Green.
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