New York’s governor has once again demonstrated to the elderly of his state that they are not a priority for him. The drug addicting patients of New York’s rehabilitation facilities will be placed ahead of the most vulnerable to the COVID virus: the elderly.
A significant portion of New York’s elderly population, including those in high-risk nursing home facilities, are in queue to receive their COVID vaccinations. Given that the elderly are considered the most vulnerable to the virus, prioritizing them to receive the new vaccines in the initial round seems logical.
But New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), appears to scorn logic when it comes to seniors in his state.
Cuomo has placed drug addicts in rehab facilities before the elderly in his state where vaccinations for COVID are concerned. Recovering drug addicts in residential rehab facilities will be among those receiving vaccinations this week.
In a virtual news conference from his mansion in Albany, Cuomo said New York was expecting a combined 259,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. He stated that, in addition to urgent care workers and “individuals who are administering the COVID-19 vaccines, for obvious reasons,” vaccinations would be given to residents of the state Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).
“These are congregate facilities. Congregate facilities are problematic. That’s where you have a lot of people in concentration,” Cuomo said at the virtual presser. “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.”
According to The New York Post, the New York Association of Substance Abuse Providers lobbied for addicts in rehab facilities to be prioritized for receiving the vaccine.
News of Cuomo’s command prioritization placing drug rehab patients above the state’s elder population was greeted with anger by New Yorkers online.
NYS is continuing to demonstrate the most bizarre priorities.
There are several million seniors and immuno-compromised New York State residents. As the folks with the highest death rates from COVID, why are they not at the top of the list? https://t.co/uCa3IcCU7o
— Councilman Deutsch (@ChaimDeutsch) December 29, 2020
Many New Yorkers have made it clear they want better treatment for their elderly family members emanating from Cuomo’s office.
Cuomo rightfully received harsh and immediate criticism for issuing an order early on to force COVID-positive long-term care patients into nursing homes predominantly populated by the elderly, resulting in deaths estimated into the thousands.
New York state officials, reluctant to assume responsibility for not pushing back against Cuomo’s illogical order, claim just 6,500 people died after being exposed in institutional settings.
Independent analysis, however, suggested the state purposely and drastically undercounted nursing home deaths due to COVID by as much as 65 percent.