New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned that hospitals that don’t use up their supply of Covid-19 vaccines within a week of receiving them will be punished.
Cuomo said that if the supplies are not used within one week of delivery, hospitals may face fines up to $100,000 and be disqualified from receiving further batches of vaccines.
He has repeatedly criticized the vaccine rollout as being too slow.
“I don’t want the vaccine in a fridge or a freezer, I want it in somebody’s arm,” the guvernor said during a Monday press conference. “They have to move the vaccine, and they have to move the vaccine faster.”
RT reports: Hospitals received a letter on Sunday echoing the governor’s threat.
“If you’re not performing this function, it does raise questions about the operating efficiency of the hospital,” Cuomo warned, hinting at further budget cuts for an industry already deep in the red due to the cancellation of elective surgical procedures and other lucrative revenue streams during the lockdown.
However, critics have pointed out that Cuomo has only himself to blame for the less-than-stellar “operating efficiency” of many state hospitals. The governor has slashed the state healthcare budget dramatically since taking office in 2011, even moving forward with deep cuts to Medicaid this year despite the pandemic. The state has lost over 20,000 hospital beds in the last 20 years.
The governor has also threatened anyone who attempts to ‘jump the line’ and receive an early vaccine with a $1 million fine. He volunteered to wait until black and Hispanic New Yorkers receive their shots before getting his, while observing nonwhite New Yorkers died at a much higher rate than white people.
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