Cuomo’s Bullying Won’t Speed the Use or Availability of Vaccines
The federal, state, and local government rollout of coronavirus vaccines has been nothing short of a disaster. Who’s to blame? If you’re New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, everyone else is the problem. And he intends to make matters even worse:
…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.”
Cuomo’s remedy? Threats, fines, and an assault on public health:
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.
There are alternatives, should the Governor care to look beyond his own wagging fingers:
In Washington, D.C., by contrast, the Department of Health is reportedly encouraging health care providers to administer surplus vaccines nearing expiration to any willing recipient. David MacMillan documented such an experience on TikTok after a pharmacist approached him randomly in a D.C. Giant supermarket with an offer to get the Moderna vaccine.
A similar approach is popular in Israel, which has vaccinated 12 percent of its population with the first dose—the U.S. is at 1 percent—and has moved so rapidly that it is running out of vaccines. They, too, allow the younger population to benefit from extra vaccines. More than 100,000 Israelis between the ages of 20 and 40 have been inoculated.
Imagine that – a little innovation, some compassion, and a desire to help people, gets results.
Image Credit: Photos from the opening of the new Delta Air Lines terminal in LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY, on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (Chris Rank for Rank Studios) (Photos from the opening of the new Delta Air Lines terminal in LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY, o