NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo repeated his threat to sue the Trump administration as he invoked Martin Luther King, Jr. during Sunday remarks about the COVID outbreak at historic Riverside Church in Manhattan.
“The Rev. Dr. King, who spoke in this magnificent church, said of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane because it often results in physical death,” Cuomo said. “COVID proved Dr. King right.”
The governor went on to repeat his criticism of the Trump administration’s plans for distributing the coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available, saying that relying on hospitals and the private sector will perpetuate inequalities during the outbreak, which has affected communities of color at disproportionately high rates.
Cuomo called for community groups to be enlisted in vaccine distribution and elaborated on his previous threat to sue the feds if they don’t change their distribution plan. He said it would violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, citing the 1982 Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe.
“If the Trump administration does not change this plan and does not provide an equitable vaccine process, we will enforce our legal rights, we will bring legal action to protect New Yorkers,” he said.
The governor also took some shots at the outgoing president in front of an audience including former Rep. Charles Rangel and Chivona and Hawk Newsome, the co-founders of Black Lives Matter of New York.
“President Trump must learn the lesson: Stop the abuse, stop the division, stop the anger, stop the hatred, stop the narcissism and spend your last months actually trying to help people and repairing the damage you have done,” Cuomo said.
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