While broadcast networks like CBS were bashing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) last week for shifting coronavirus vaccine doses from slow hospitals to locations that could get them out faster, all of the networks refused to cover how a ridiculous executive order from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was responsible for many doses getting binned, because they expired in freezers rather than administered to vulnerable groups.
According to a New York Times report out Friday, Cuomo’s guidelines and punishments for vaccinating people outside the designated phase 1a category (health care workers and nursing home residents) were so restrictive, that they prevented hospitals from giving out doses that were set to expire.
“In the weeks since vaccinations began in mid-December, stories of doses sitting in freezers for weeks or being discarded have emerged, offering a glimpse of what public health experts have characterized as a troubled rollout in New York,” wrote Joseph Goldstein, noting that Cuomo had only recently expanded the dosing guidelines to include elderly residents “75 and older.”
Goldstein also chronicled how Cuomo had sent one Manhattan hospital more doses than they needed and they were forced to throw the extra away:
Among the clinics were the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan, where the chief medical officer, Dr. Peter Meacher, had expected to receive just a small supply of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine to inoculate employees at the network of clinics he oversees.
Instead, 600 doses arrived late last month, far more than he needed to administer a first dose to his staff.
For two weeks, more than half of the supply sat in freezers. At another clinic in the city, small numbers of unused doses were even thrown out.
But why were hospitals forced to throw out the vaccine? Well, as the libertarian Reason magazine reported on Friday, they could face upwards of $1 million in fines and could lose their ability to practice medicine. All on Cuomo’s order.
“On December 28, he signed an executive order rolling out strict penalties—up to $1 million in fines, plus loss of medical license—for medical providers who allow people to skip the state-issued vaccination line, even when those doses are about to expire,” reported staff editor Liz Wolfe.
It’s now Sunday and none of the broadcast networks have told their viewers about Cuomo’s disastrous policy, in an effort to keep his false narrative of being a great leader in a crisis intact.
Saturday’s World News Tonight had ABC correspondent Zohreen Shah, touting how “New York City [would be] opening five vaccination sites on Monday. The state expanding the list of who can get the shot next, including daycare employees, firefighters, and police officers, and people over the age of 75.”
Though, she did note, “it could take 14 weeks, nearly 4 months, to vaccinate just those groups.”
That same night saw NBC Nightly News anchor Jose Diaz-Balart and reported Sam Brock bash Florida’s expanded vaccination effort for using doses on non-residents:
DIAZ-BALART: Sam, how many are out of state residents that are getting vaccinated?
BROCK: So Jose, this hospital just vaccinated about 1,500 people. Roughly eight or nine percent were from out of state. That's pretty representative of what we've seen across Florida.
Brock’s report also falsely spun such expanded vaccination efforts as dangerous, conflating them with the idea of giving people half-doses.