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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the state must start reopening its economy despite most New Yorkers not having received a coronavirus vaccination, saying that there will be “nothing left to open” otherwise.
“We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high,” Cuomo wrote in a tweet Monday morning.
“We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely,” the Democratic governor added.
New York currently does not allow gatherings of more than ten people at private residences. Indoor dining at restaurants is limited and even prohibited in some areas with higher positivity rates.
During his annual address to the state that kicked off Monday and will continue through the week, Cuomo promised to ensure that millions of New Yorkers are vaccinated and said he would work to revamp the economy this year.
Coronavirus cases in the state have continued to rise. New York currently has about 8,500 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, down significantly from the peak of 18,000 patients who were hospitalized in April.
Meanwhile, Cuomo’s vaccine distribution plan has been plagued with difficulties. Cuomo loosened restrictions on who was first in line to receive a shot after medical providers were forced to toss unused doses of the coveted vaccine because they had difficulty locating locate people who met the priority criteria.
On Friday, the governor granted vaccine access to essential workers and senior over 75. Then on Sunday, Cuomo gave permission for medical providers to give vaccine to more of their employees as well as pharmacy workers.