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Sen. Helming calls news about vaccines being withheld from counties that don’t support Cuomo ‘deeply disturbing’

In response to Sunday’s article in The Washington Post Sen. Pam Helming has issued a statement about the prospect of vaccine doses being held back based on political support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“This is unconscionable behavior and yet another public betrayal by this Governor and his administration. They have politicized vaccine distribution, putting the public health at risk. While deeply disturbing, unfortunately this news is not surprising. It is just one more example of this administration’s grossly inappropriate behavior and bullying tactics,” said Helming in a press release.

Larry Schwartz has coordinated New York’s vaccine distribution at Governor Cuomo’s direction. As also reported in a recent NPR article “Local officials in New York who spoke to NPR viewed the calls from Cuomo administration ‘vaccine czar’ Larry Schwartz as an implicit threat — voice displeasure with the governor and the vaccine valve for their county would be turned off.”

“And where is the Health Commissioner on all this? His job is to protect the public’s health. My calls, and those of my colleagues, expressing concern about the lack of vaccine access in our rural districts continue to go unanswered. Is Dr. Zucker even involved in vaccine distribution, or has he ceded control to Larry Schwartz? I will say it again, Dr. Zucker should resign. He failed to protect our nursing home residents and deceived the public, he botched the vaccine rollout, and now the integrity of the state’s vaccine distribution program has been called into question,” Helming said in a press release.

“Every citizen of this state who wants the vaccine should be able to get the vaccine as quickly as possible. Every citizen. Not just those whose elected officials support the Governor,” added Helming.