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Gov. Cuomo Hits Road To Raise Awareness Of New Vaccine Sites

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured a new Brooklyn mega site Monday in a push for members of the minority community to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but the nursing home scandal continues to dog him. CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports.

Video Transcript

- A big step forward in getting more new Yorkers vaccinated today Governor Cuomo toured a new Brooklyn mega site that opens on Wednesday. And he pushed for members of communities hard hit by COVID to get the vaccine.

- But the nursing home scandal still looms, and today the Senate looked at bills to reform the entire industry. CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer has the details.

MARCIA KRAMER: Call it escape from Albany. Governor Cuomo brought members of the faith community and lawmakers to eyeball preparations for a new vaccine site at Medgar Evers College, that can administer up to 3,000 shots a day.

ANDREW CUOMO: Blacks died at twice the rate of Whites. Hispanics died at one and a half times the rate of Whites. How shameful! We have to be equitable in the administration of the vaccine, and we have to correct for the injustice that we just saw perpetrated by COVID.

MARCIA KRAMER: The Medgar Evers site is one of two federal vaccine sites opening Wednesday in minority communities. The other one is that York College in Queens. The need to reach people in these communities is so important, at the MTA is providing special bus service. And people are being told that if you can't reach the site to register by phone, they can just stop in and make an appointment.

ADOLPHUS LACEY: So far, a 6.1% vaccination rate. So I speak directly to my congregation, and to all congregations, when I say, trust this. Vaccine

MARCIA KRAMER: But while you can take the Governor out of Albany, the Senate was passing a suite of bills to reform the nursing home industry. One bill mandates that the State report long-term care residents who die in hospitals as nursing home deaths. Another requires nursing home facilities to spend 70% of revenue on care. Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris telling me that 10 bills are intended to improve accountability. As the Federal Government investigates the Cuomo administration's handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes.

MICHAEL GIANARIS: The most important thing to keep in mind is that we're trying to give the public confidence in the nursing homes that they entrust their loved ones with.

MARCIA KRAMER: The Governor also announced that people can start visiting loved ones in nursing homes starting this Friday. And good news for movie lovers. Theaters in New York City can reopen March 5th, at 25% capacity, no more than 50 people per theater, masks a requirement. They've already been open in other parts of the State, like here in Port Chester. I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS 2 News.