CORNING — Congressman Tom Reed is charging that New York State and Gov. Andrew Cuomo “dropped the ball” in knowingly overwhelming the COVID-19 vaccine program and that the federal government needs to take over the system in New York.
In a conference call this week, Reed said New York has two problems that are slowing delivery of the vaccine to New Yorkers. He said Cuomo knew the state was getting 400,000 vaccines and he put 7.5 million people on the vaccine list.
Plus, Reed says the computer system tracking the vaccine program is antiquated and has not been fixed.
Reed said this week Cuomo blamed the federal government for setting the numbers for how many people were placed on the first lists for receiving the vaccine.
“That is just false. That is not accurate,” Reed said.
“By opening up the valve to 7.5 million people with the knowledge that you’re only getting 400,000 vaccines, you’re overwhelming the system. You’re overwhelming the system and you know it,” Reed said.
He said the state delivery system is to old to work properly.
“Our New York system is antiquated. It’s based on software systems that are decades old,” Reed charged. “You’ve got an antiquated system that has not been maintained that has not been kept up to date and, second, they didn’t kick the tires appropriately knowing that a vaccine was coming.”
The best solution, according to Reed is to have the federal government, as in FEMA and the National Guard, take over the entire vaccine program in New York.
“At least in New York, I am for full federalization of the state distribution system because New York State has dropped the ball,” Reed said.
He said the state is “past the point of no return.”
State Senator George Borrello told WNY News Now that he agrees with Reed’s opinion, saying Cuomo needs to put aside politics and his ego to do what’s best for the citizens of New York.
The State Senate has a sense of failure regarding the vaccine system in New York, Borrello says.
“In one-on-one conversations, it’s very clear that Senators on both sides of the isle agree this has been a botched effort to deliver the vaccine,” Borrello said.
Cuomo has failed to use the private sector to help with the pandemic.
“Who better to give out vaccines than pharmacies and hospitals, who give out vaccines every day and have for decades,” Borrello asked.
Pressure from the State Legislature is the only way Cuomo might consider having the federal government step in, Borrello said.
“It’s really going to take the pressure from the legislature and the Governor cooperating,”Borrello said. “It’s an up hill battle, but it should not be. The Governor has asked for federal assistance for other things in the past, it’s not like he’s said we’re going to do this ourselves. He needs needs to set aside politics and his ego.”
In addition, Reed has challenged President Joe Biden to surpass his stated goal of 150 million COVID-19 vaccines within 100 days.
“I will tell you I am very confident in my position where I challenged President Biden last Friday with our public statement of 200million doses into the arms of Americans within 100 days,” Reed said.