New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office is hitting back at claims that the state has untapped money to use to distribute a coronavirus vaccino, after the governor criticized the federal government for not providing adequate funding this week.
“The federal government is not providing any funding to speak of for the states to do the vaccinations,” Cuomo said during his press conference on Wednesday. “Who’s supposed to pay for this? How am I supposed to do the distribution?”
In response to criticism that Cuomo has about $ 14 million worth of funding – including federal money – available that could be used to distribute the vaccine in the state. his budget director said the state has already accrued expenses in excess of that amount for preparation and planning.
Di mercoledì, Cuomo estimated that the state needs around $ 1 billion for vaccine distribution, while noting that the federal government has not given states anywhere near that amount of money.
Money is needed for education, outreach and reaching minority communities – in addition to the distribution itself, Cuomo noted.
The Democratic governor has been consistent in calling on the federal government to provide more state and local funding, which is in line with some of the stated policy goals of individuals Biden has tapped for his incoming administration.
Cuomo said on Wednesday that the state is expecting to have about 170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 15. But he said widespread distribution could occur as early as June or as late as September.
The White House has suggested that, in totale, there will be enough doses to vaccine about 20 million people by the end of December – which is equal to about 6% of Americans.