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Janice Dean: COVID vaccine distribution botched by Cuomo – why wasn’t New York’s governor more prepared?

In accordance with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, his management through the COVID-19 pandemic has been worthy of many rewards: A New York Instances bestseller on management, a COVID mountain poster he commissioned to be made and bought, an Emmy, a Ted Kennedy award and a birthday celebration that you possibly can attend just about for $1,000 with a test made out to the Andrew Cuomo reelection marketing campaign.

For those who ask those that misplaced family members in nursing houses, as my household did in 2020, his management has been a failure beginning together with his March 25 order to place COVID constructive sufferers into nursing houses for 46 days, and the next cover-up of the full variety of seniors we’ve misplaced since then.

If Cuomo had not spent worthwhile time selling and celebrating himself for months, lacking conferences with the White Home within the fall and as a substitute had ready for the huge vaccine roll-out right here in New York, possibly we wouldn’t have the mess and mass confusion that’s presently taking place throughout the state.

One of many greatest issues we’re going through proper now’s the difficult hierarchy that’s been created designating who will get the vaccine first, and the very strict fines which can be being carried out for hospitals who gave pictures to anybody not on a prioritized listing.

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Even the New York Instances has been getting robust with its headlines on what was taking place:

“New York’s strict vaccine pointers pressured one clinic to throw away doses after it couldn’t discover eligible folks”

“Why 300 doses of vaccine sat unused in freezer for two weeks…”

As soon as the vaccine distribution plan started, folks began to note who took precedence first, and who wasn’t being included. New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio observed that some first responders and people over the age of 70 weren’t on the entrance of the road:

“We aren’t allowed by state legislation to offer a single shot to a single New Yorker over 75.” He introduced in a tweet.

The mayor went on speak reveals and social media to ask why his personal father wasn’t allowed to get vaccinated but and listened to many senior residents elevating their voices as to why they couldn’t be prioritized for the vaccine since they had been clearly those who wanted it most.

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The shaming labored, and out of the blue, Cuomo introduced that the aged and metropolis staff had been now included. He mentioned in a press convention on Friday:

“On Monday, you can begin to schedule appointments. Pharmacies will begin coming on-line, some on Monday, extra on Wednesday…”

However the governor by no means formally mentioned once they may start or how the registration would occur.

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Over the weekend we began to see stories about what an enormous enterprise this distribution is and who might need an issue signing up.

In a sequence of tweets New York Metropolis Comptroller Scott M. Stringer wrote that the method of constructing appointments for the vaccination is difficult and buggy. Particularly for folks over 75:

“The @nychealthy website has a multi-step verification course of simply to arrange an account, after which a six-step course of to arrange an appointment. Alongside the best way, there are as many as 51 questions of fields along with importing photos of your insurance coverage card.

All of this can be notably difficult for populations that wrestle with digital literacy and digital entry – who’ve been hit hardest by the pandemic and who must vaccine probably the most.”

New York Assemblyman Ron Kim, who’s the chairman of the Growing old Committee tweeted in response to Stringer’s tweet:

“First, it must be a two-step verification course of to vaccinate older adults. However fixing hospital vaccination screening course of just isn’t the difficulty. Why did the governor punt this to underfunded hospitals within the first place? Why didn’t the governor belief native protocols?”

Kim informed me in a textual content that he had informally surveyed some medical doctors and requested them why they thought the governor determined to belief hospitals to vaccinate the inhabitants. He says they overwhelmingly informed him it’s to make non-public hospitals look good.

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Invoice Hammond is the Senior Fellow for Well being Coverage at Empire Heart and has been one of many greatest advocates on transparency with the Cuomo administration.

I requested him in a textual content why that is so arduous to do.

“Getting 8.3 million New York Metropolis residents organized to do something goes to be arduous. I’m struck by the shortage of preparation. They might have foreseen the necessity for a registration system months in the past. As it’s, they appear to be managing issues on the fly.”

Hammond says he can see why they’d need folks to register for an appointment, to keep away from crowding at vaccination websites. However in the event you’re going to do this, it must be so simple as doable.

“Ideally, there can be one system for town, and possibly the entire state. As an alternative, it appears like we may have three.”

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

I then requested him why the governor determined to place this all on the shoulders of the hospital system.

Right here’s his reply:

“He evidently determined [that] they and their members (who’re in spite of everything very sensible and succesful organizations) had been higher ready to deal with this job than metropolis and county officers. Town’s web site rollout might be the form of factor he was anxious about. However hospitals can’t do every part. They don’t have any specific expertise of operating mass vaccinations.”

There are numerous stories displaying each county in New York State has been planning and rehearsing this strategy of mass vaccinations for years.

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Hammond thinks the preparations by no means included organising web sites, and that it’s higher dealt with statewide. However, the governor ought to’ve identified how arduous this is able to be from the start.

“He ought to have been engaged on precisely these points because the summer season or early fall. Not involving the counties — who had already finished some the prep work — looks like a serious mistake,” he informed me.

Extra from Opinion

Add this to the listing of the numerous errors the governor has made during the last 10 months, however received’t reply for. He appeared to flee widespread criticism of his deadly government order in March and the 1000’s of seniors who subsequently died. However possibly now persons are taking discover:

Chris @MasterJohn wrote:

“If Cuomo’s March directive forbidding nursing houses from stopping readmission of then contaminated COVID-19 constructive sufferers didn’t persuade you he hates outdated folks, possibly the 51 step course of they take to get vaccines with tens of millions of {dollars} in fines will persuade you.”

Voices for Seniors, a bunch of grieving households that advocate for accountability, change and reform for our seniors, responded on Twitter:

“Governor Cuomo and Dr. Zucker have made it clear: They really feel our seniors are disposable. There’s no different clarification for his or her continued and legal mismanagement of every part COVID; from nursing house insurance policies to vaccine distribution.”

And now, with so many lives to attempt to save, possibly the governor ought to spend a while really main.

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As a result of if the governor didn’t be taught this lesson within the spring, our most weak must be on the entrance of the road in order that we will shield them and hopefully save their lives.

After all of the family members we misplaced, it’s the least he can do for those who are nonetheless with us.

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