New York City administered just over 8,300 doses of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, a decrease of more than 2,100 shots compared to the number given out seven days ago, and far fewer than the 12,170 jabs given on Wednesday as Gov. Andrew Cuomo pinned the slow pace on poor hospital leadership.
On Monday, Cuomo threatened that hospitals in the state who failed to work through their initial allotment of the vaccine supply would face fines of up to $100,000, and that those who felt overwhelmed should contact the state and opt out of distribution plans.
The threat faced criticism from many, namely New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, who reportedly said it was “arrogance,” and added that the governor should instead come up with a plan to help the hospitals distribute the vaccines faster rather than punish those struggling.
The two Democrats have sparred throughout the pandemic over handlings of city school closures and implementing coronavirus restrictions, including the closure of restaurants.
But Cuomo on Tuesday hit back that New York has only received enough allotment to vaccinate half of the health care workers, adding that some of the 194 hospitals in the state have failed to vaccinate 50% of their staff over the last two weeks. He also fought back against the notion that hospitals may be facing vaccine hesitancy among health care workers.
“I have also been deluged with phone calls of health care workers saying, ‘I can’t get a vaccine, and I’m going out there every day and I can’t get a vaccine,’” Cuomo said.