Cuomo questions apparent fed plan that will ask COVID-19 vaccine patients for ID number
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the federal government's COVID-19 vaccination plan into question Monday afternoon, including saying that he will refuse some information that they are apparently planning to ask for from patients.
One day ahead of Election Day, Cuomo called attention to a "data-sharing agreement" on COVID-19 vaccination patients, where he says the federal government is asking for patient information. The governor says what concerned him about it is that it's asking for an ID number.
Cuomo says he doesn't understand the need for an ID number, and thinks the federal government is asking for this information in order to single out undocumented immigrants.
"This is an administration that has, from day one … been relentless in their pursuit of undocumented people," says Cuomo. "The data use agreement says the information will be used by CDC, HHS and other federal partners."
The governor recalled the state's plan to give undocumented immigrants driver licenses and the federal government's response to that, saying they "extorted" the state and removed them from the Trusted Traveler Program.
Cuomo simply said "I will not do it" in relation to the asking for ID numbers. He said he understands the need for relevant patient information like date of birth, ethnicity and more, but not this. He added that he will be asking the administration directly why this is necessary.
"Why would you possibly need someone's Social Security, ID number or passport number before they receive a vaccine?" Cuomo says. "There is no legitimate health reason."
Cuomo also continued to express worry about how the vaccination plan will be carried out, saying the current plan is similar to how flu vaccines and COVID-19 testing is performed. He says the federal government is designing the plan, where pharma companies will produce the vaccine and the military will be in charge of shipping the vaccine, and the state will then distribute it.
Cuomo said the current infrastructure is "incapable" of expediting the vaccination process as necessary to get it to all Americans. He also expressed concern over the process' potentially discriminatory effects on minority communities.
Cuomo also delivered the state's latest COVID-19 figures – 14 new COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations over 1,150 and a 1.7% positivity rate.
Cuomo touted New York as among the top three states in terms of lowest COVID-19 rates, but cautioned that residents must be on high-alert with cases rising in neighboring states, including Connecticut and Pennsylvania.