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There is frustration, anger on the non-availability of vaccine to people — Mayor de Blasio


Moses Kuwema

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said there is a lot of frustration and anger from people who want to get the COVID-19 vaccination but cannot do so because of the state's rules.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also disclosed that a total of 161 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in the state on Thursday.

Speaking during his daily briefing at City Hall on Friday, Mayor de Blasio said he could hear tremendous frustration from police officers and leaders. 

"I'm hearing tremendous frustration from seniors and folks who represent the interest of seniors. No one understands why we're being held back from vaccinating people who are ready, willing, and able," Mayor de Blasio said.

"Again, if we had a world where everyone in category 1-A, every second, the category got approved, people were lining up, they were energized, they're ready. 

"That's one thing. We know a lot of people are choosing not to get vaccinated in category 1-A, and there's others who are still waiting and we want to do everything we can to reach them."
Mayor de Blasio wondered why the city can't be given the freedom to vaccinate so that it could reach all the rest of the folks over 75, over half-a-million New Yorkers, first responders, and essential workers. 

"The State of New York said New York City is not allowed to provide the vaccine to NYPD officers even though they do provide CPR, they do provide Narcan, they put themselves on the line in very frontline ways to save lives," Mayor de Blasio said. 

They're not allowed to be vaccinated. So, that just makes no sense whatsoever. The definitions, we put them up on the screen because they're almost identical and yet we got a specific directive telling us we couldn't do it."

And Governor Cuomo said the statewide patient hospitalization stood at 8,561, with 1,475 patients in the ICU and 912 intubated. The positivity rate for the state stood at 7.72 percent. 

"We know these numbers and we know what is happening. This is all predictive. You have the holidays, socialization, holiday spread and the number goes up. 

"We've said that since before Thanksgiving, and we said celebrate smart and stop the spread. Social gatherings happened and the infection rate went up. Slowing the spread depends on your behavior, and your belief in your community. You resolve community spread when the community acts differently," Governor Cuomo said. 

"We are in a footrace between how fast the infection rate goes up and how fast the vaccination rate goes up. I am telling you, we are in a danger zone. The infection and hospitalization rates are going up quickly, and when the hospitalization rate goes up, the hospitals reach capacity and the economy shuts down. Add to that footrace a new factor: the UK strain. The UK strain is here and it's spreading. This is the Usain Bolt of infection rates and it is frightening."

In New York City, the COVID-19 stats indicate that the city recorded a total of 256 new hospitalizations, 3,960 new cases representing a 9.38 percent positivity rate during the seven-day average.

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