NEW YORK (NewsNation Now)— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened legal action against the Trump administration if they do not ensure vaccines will reach underserved communities in the state.
“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 on Sunday.
The governor elaborated during his remarks why the Trump administration’s plan would be discriminatory towards minority groups.
“The Trump administration is designing the distribution plan and their plan basically has private health care 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 health care deserts,” Cuomo said. “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.”
He also discussed in his address how New York will ensure every single person gets the 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,” Gov. Cuomo said. “New York state will mobilize an army to vaccinate all New Yorkers fairly, equitably. No state will do it better.”
However, he said the state needs financial help from the federal government.
President Donald Trump said in a Rose Garden address last Friday that New York would not get the vaccine immediately.
“As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of places like New York state, where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say … he wants to take his time on the vaccine,” Trump said.
The president added that, “We won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say that… Gov. Cuomo will have to let us know when he’s ready for it. Otherwise we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people.”
Gov. Cuomo had previously recommended New York residents not get vaccinated until state health officials had reviewed any U.S.-approved vaccine.