War of words brewing between Cuomo's office, Molinaro over COVID-19 vaccinations for those with disabilities
There was a war of words Sunday between Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro over vaccinating some of the region's more vulnerable community members.
Molinaro says he's concerned over reports that COVID-19 vaccine doses are being redirected away from particularly vulnerable groups, including the homebound and disabled, being sent instead to mass vaccination sites.
"We just want to be certain that those with disabilities are included, in particular those in the congregate care settings are included in vaccination plans. That is not underway currently," said Molinaro.
When asked about the allegations, the governor's office said, "Either Marc Molinaro doesn't know what he's talking about or he's playing politics and neither answer is acceptable."
It added that vaccinating the disabled community is the responsibility of hospitals.
"It is not accurate to suggest to anyone that the hospitals have been directed to do that currently, and certainly not in this region," said Molinaro.
News 12's request to the governor's office for a telephone interview to clarify was declined., but a Gov. Cuomo spokesperson did provide a recorded statement that said,
"We are currently evaluating how to expand vaccinations to this community beyond hospitals and if the county executive has ideas on how to do that, we'll hear him out. Until the federal vaccination allocation increases, every shot diverted here is one less shot for a nurse, police officer, a teacher or a senior. Its a balance and its one we are weighing."
In keeping with his promise to make serving those with disabilities a priority, Molinaro is announcing the creation of a new point of distribution site in Dutchess, to vaccinate those who are considered among the most vulnerable population