NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday night criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for announcing that facilities that have underperformed in vaccinating New Yorkers against COVID-19 will receive fewer, if any, new doses.
"We are moving so quickly now, we have built up such a head of steam, that we're going to use up our supply. So by definition, if he's taking supply away from New York City, that makes no sense," de Blasio responded in his weekly "Mondays with the Mayor" interview with Inside City Hall anchor Bobby Cuza. The mayor did say, however, he had not seen the governor's specific comments.
. @NYCMayor on Monday night criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for announcing that facilities that have underperformed in vaccinating New Yorkers against COVID-19 will receive fewer, if any, new doses. #NY1Politics #NY1Health pic.twitter.com/WJJmYRR9Tc— Inside City Hall (@InsideCityHall) January 19, 2021
While de Blasio is touting the city's current vaccination pace — an uptick from the prior weeks when fewer categories of people were allowed to get inoculated — the governor for weeks has publicly panned the city's vaccination rollout. He spent much of his news briefing on Monday highlighting the discrepancies in administering doses across the state. New York City's rate of administrating the vaccines it's received has lagged behind other parts of New York state.
The governor went further, highlighting specific facilities he accused of dragging their feet getting doses into patients. Cuomo says he wants facilities that are vaccinating more people to get more of the new allocation of doses.
"For the lower-performing facilities, we are going to give them less, if any, of the new allocation. They'll all have enough to do their staff, but we want to make sure that the faster facilities, the higher-performing facilities, get more of the new allocation because we want it out the door. We don't want it sitting on the shelf. So those that can vaccinate faster will get more of the new allocation," Cuomo said in his news briefing in the morning.
He called out the city's public hospital system — facilities like Jacobi Medical Center, where just 53% of allocated first doses have been administered in the first four weeks of the vaccination program.
Weeks ago, the governor had threatened to fine hospitals that did not speed up vaccinations.
The new move to reduce the supply of doses for some facilities comes as de Blasio warns the city is almost out of shots.
"If there's not a new supply this coming week — not just what we've typically been getting, but a brand new kind of supply — unfortunately, we're going to be out by the end of the week," de Blasio said.
At issue for de Blasio is how many doses the city is getting overall. The city has stressed it is running out of vaccines because of limited supply and because it is vaccinating far more people now. The city's goal last week was 175,000 vaccinations. According to the mayor, the city ended up conducting more than 220,000 inoculations.
The governor and mayor do agree that New York is not getting enough shots with millions of New Yorkers now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In very stark terms on Monday, Cuomo said it could be half a year before millions of New Yorkers get their vaccines because of dwindling supply. New York's supply this week is already decreasing by 50,000 doses.
The governor earlier this month expanded vaccine eligibility to a larger pool of people who are classified as essential workers, including police officers, firefighters, and teachers. Health care workers in the state are also eligible to get their shots, as well as anyone age 65 and older.
As of 12 a.m. Monday, the city had administered 433,776 out of the 800,500 vaccines doses delivered. 51,568 of those shots were second doses, according to the city.
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This story includes reporting from Courtney Gross.
Watch the full "Mondays with the Mayor" interview above.
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