New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday threatened to sue the Trump administration if its coronavirus vaccine distribution plan makes it more difficult for people of color to receive it, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.
Cuomo charged that the federal plan relies too much on health care providers to deliver the vaccine, which he said could leave behind communities of color that often don’t have easy access to the system.
The governor said the distribution plan should also include such local facilities as churches and community centers.
“If the Trump administration does not change this plan and does not provide an equitable vaccine process, we will enforce our legal rights,” Cuomo said during a service at Riverside Church in New York City.
He stressed that “any plan that intentionally burdens communities of color to hinder access to the vaccine deprives those communities of equal protection under the law.”
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in August showed that communities of color have a disproportionate number of coronavirus cases.
Other research has shown these communities are more likely to suffer serious illness or death from COVID-19, with one reason cited as the lack of access to healthcare.
Trump on Friday said Cuomo’s previous criticisms of his plan would mean vaccines won’t be delivered to New York, claiming the governor said he didn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from.
Cuomo responded to those accusations by saying that “none of what the president said is true,” while New York Attorney General Letitia James called Trump's comments “nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to exact vengeance on those who oppose his politics.”
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