ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has written a letter on behalf of all the sates’ governors asking President Donald Trump to form a clear plan on how to administer a COVID-19 vaccine, when that day comes.
Cuomo, who is head of the National Governor’s Association, wrote a letter to Trump, asking that the President hold a meeting with nation’s governors to talk about how to make sure a national vaccination campaign is “implemented smoothly and efficiently”.
The letter is co signed by National Governor’s Associating Vice President and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, and says the states need “guidance and clarification” on what the specific roles the federal government and state governments will play in administering and distributing the vaccine.
The governors also want to know about funding to help pay for mass vaccinations, and how a vaccine supply chain would function. Cuomo says it’s “clear that the states will not be able to do it on their own”.
“It is a massive monumental undertaking, and if you listen to the White House it could be just a matter of weeks away,” said Cuomo, who said distribution will be complicated and expensive.
The governor says he’s also concerned that anti-vaxxers, who opposed the measles vaccine in recent years, might also be against a COVID-19 vaccine.
“You’ll have group of people saying ‘we aren’t taking the vaccine’,” Cuomo predicted. “That means you’ll have on- going small flare ups of Covid.”
Cuomo says he hopes to hear back from the White House soon. He says the virus has been one step ahead of the nation ever since the pandemic began, and he says it’s time the country caught up.
The governor has already set up a New York State based task force to independently evaluate any vaccine recommendations that the federal Food and Drug Administration might make.
Cuomo also announced that he is sending 200,000 testing kits to schools surrounding designated coronavirus hotspots in New York City and in Orange and Rockland counties, to find out if the virus is contained in the cluster areas or if it might be spreading further.
“We’ve asked local governments to do testing in those schools in the ‘Yellow Zones’, they’re basically buffer zones,” Cuomo said.
Data from Wednesday shows the number of positive cases in the red zones, at just under 5% (4.84%), compared to 6.2% on Tuesday. But the governors says it’s too soon to think about easing school and business shutdowns and lifting limits on large gatherings.