New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has repeatedly come under fire for his handling of the Wuhan coronavirus. He was single-handedly responsible for driving up the state's coronavirus deaths because of his decision to force hospitals to release COVID positive patients to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In fact, Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean has been outspoken about how the decision personally impacted her family, resulting in the death of her mother-in-law and father-in-law.
Even though Cuomo received the International Emmy Foundation Award "in recognition of his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic," he's making another really dumb decision: addicts that are in the rehab facilities are next on the list to receive the COVID vaccine. The state runs 12 residential, which is overseen by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASS). Five of the facilities are in or around New York City, the New York Post reported.
All residents at drug rehab facilities, whether public or private, are next on Cuomo's priority list after urgent care employees and those who are distributing the vaccine.
“These are congregate facilities. Congregate facilities are problematic. That’s where you have a lot of people in concentration,” Cuomo said during a virtual press conference. “Nursing homes are obviously the most problematic because they’re congregate plus older, vulnerable people. OASAS facilities, what we call the O facilities, they’re congregate — not necessarily older — but congregate facilities.”
Other groups who are on the same priority level as the drug addicts: emergency medical services personnel, medical examiners, coroners, funeral workers and those who are residents and staff members at facilities that fall under the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and Office of Mental Health.
The decision was made after the New York Association of Substance Abuse Providers lobbied Cuomo to make drug users a priority. According to the group's director, Luke Nasta, who is also the CEO of two residential treatment facilities on Staten Island, the decision is a win because his patients are likely "to get the disease and spread it."
“We were overlooked initially. We got the governor’s office’s attention and Gov. Cuomo acted appropriately,” he said.
The state will receive 259,000 doses of the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine. Of those, 139,400 will be from Pfizer and another 119,600 will be from Moderna.