Dec 1, 2020
- December is here, and we are quickly moving toward a COVID-19 vaccine, which is great news. However, the federal government's current vaccine distribution plan fails to address equity issues adequately. Today, joined by a coalition of groups, I issued a letter to the Department for Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urging the administration to support underserved communities and to protect undocumented immigrants in the process of the federal COVID-19 vaccination program.
We need to fund outreach to Black, Brown, Asian and low-income communities that are historically underserved by healthcare institutions so that every person in the United States can get vaccinated. Time is of the essence as we get closer to the distribution date and I urge the federal government to address these issues quickly.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The statewide positivity rate ticked up to 4.96 percent yesterday. There were 7,285 positive cases from 146,675 tests reported yesterday. The positivity rate in the micro-cluster focus areas was 6.27 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 4.46 percent.
2. Total hospitalizations rose to 3,774. There were 718 patients in ICU yesterday, up 37 from the previous day. Of them, 348 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 66 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. Western NY has the highest positivity rate of any region in the state. The region has a 7.29 percent test positivity rate on a 7-day average, the highest of any of New York's regions. Regardless of where you live, you should be sure to follow the health guidelinesâbut this is especially true in Western NY.
4. The tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center will be held virtually tomorrow, December 2nd. There will be no public viewing of the lighting ceremony, but New Yorkers can watch it on TVâon NBC at 8pm. Starting Thursday, December 3rd, the tree will open to the public with protocols in place to manage crowds.
5. New York's annual holiday toy, coat and school supply drive begins today. This year has been difficult for more families than any time in recent memory. The holiday donation drive will benefit families in need across the state and runs through December 16th. Drop-off locations are set up around the State and COVID-19 protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of those dropping off donations. I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in the drive to help make someone else's holiday brighter.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Captain Sir Tom Moore, a British World War II veteran, has been named one of GQ's "Men of the Year" and will become the oldest person ever to be featured on the magazine's cover. Moore first caught our (and the world's) attention when he tried to raise $1,200 in COVID-19 relief funds before his 100th birthday by walking laps in his yard. Not only did he smash his goal by raising over $39 million, but he was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his service.
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