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“Vaccinations Underway” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Excellent news! The Rockland County Department of Health has started vaccinating individuals eligible under the New York State Phased Vaccination program. This is in addition to numerous other vaccination efforts underway at hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities here in Rockland.

The first people we were able to vaccinate were the clinical staff of our Health Department. These are the doctors, nurses and clinic staff who are going to be giving the vaccine to others in the days, weeks and months that follow, and it is critical they get every protection available so they can carry out these efforts’ day after day.

If you’re wondering if you are eligible under the NYS Phased Vaccination program, you can see the most up-to-date list here:           https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine

NYS has also developed a tool to check your eligibility; you can access it here: https://am-i-eligible-qa.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

The web page will ask for info like your name, where you live, and what you do for a living. If you are in a priority group currently eligible for vaccination, the site will show you the location of nearby health care providers who can give you the vaccine. Just choose the one you prefer and schedule the appointment.

We have been pushing to get law enforcement and fire fighters vaccinated as quickly as possible and thankfully NYS has heard these comments. They are expected to expand the groups which are eligible later this month to those in Phase 1B which includes police and fire fighters.

The rest of Phase 1B includes teachers and education workers, other first responders, public safety workers, public transit workers and people 75 and older. Based on what NYS has done so far it is likely that these groups will be made eligible one or two at a time depending on the current supply of vaccine.

Now that we have vaccine and pending the continued and hopefully increased local supply your County Health Department will move forward with mass vaccinations. Our vaccine is not sitting in a freezer, it is going into the arms of eligible individuals right now!

We will continue to urge the Governor and the State Health Department to better utilize the people specifically trained do this AND to stop micromanaging the distribution of the vaccine, because all that is happening out here is needless confusion and anxiety.

And while we are on this subject, I want to assure you that I believe this vaccine to be safe and that I will be taking it when I become eligible. I will not be cutting to the front of the line as we have seen elected officials do in Washington and elsewhere.

When the U.S. FDA approved use of these vaccines, they looked at the data from Pfizer and Moderna’s large clinical trials. Their thorough review of this data allowed them to say, “that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19).”

Despite the hiccups and mixed messages that we are dealing with from the State, we are making real progress in vaccinating eligible folks. Know this, as long as we have a steady supply we will continue to do so, and we will absolutely get through this together.

*This is a weekly column by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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Government

Congressman Mondaire Jones on Impeachment of President Trump

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mondaire Jones before voting to impeach President Donald Trump for his incitement of the violent insurrection at the Capitol last week, delivered his first ever Floor speech since becoming a member of the 117th Congress.

Below are the Congressman’s remarks and the video of his speech can be seen here:

“I rise to support the impeachment of the disgraced, defeated President of the United States. There must be consequences for last week’s treason and sedition. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Donald Trumps in today’s Republican Party aim to run for higher office. We must send them a message that no one, in the United States of America, is above the law. The world is watching. I yield back.”

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Government

Senator Skoufis Responds to Governor Cuomo’s State of State Address

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The Governor’s presentation did not include many specific proposals, but the issues we face as New Yorkers are clear. We have a COVID-19-driven budget deficit facing us, but there are a number of steps we can and should take to rebuild our economy, get people back to work, and ensure that the pocketbooks of hardworking New Yorkers are protected.

“We need to repurpose state incentives that heavily favor large corporations and, instead, provide real and significant relief to our small businesses. As virus restrictions persist in many communities, far too many empty storefronts litter our Main Streets. Our small businesses need assistance and they deserve assistance.

“Additionally, we ought to address the COVID-driven budget shortfall by modestly increasing state income tax rates for people making over $3 million annually. In an effort to mitigate cuts to essential services such as our schools and hospitals, we ought to look to the very wealthy among us – almost all of whom live in New York City – to offer up a small sacrifice in order to protect services that we all rely on.

“The budget also presents an opportunity to pass a large infrastructure bill which will both create good-paying jobs and rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges. I’ve always prioritized bringing back infrastructure dollars and this year will be no exception as I fight for funding to expand Route 17 to three lanes in each direction, repave local roads such as Route 17M and Route 218, and rebuild our community’s bridges.

“As I continue my efforts as Chair of the Investigations Committee to hold the government and its stakeholders accountable, I look forward to working with my colleagues over the next three months of negotiations in order to ensure the forthcoming budget works for the Hudson Valley and we rebuild our state’s economy.”

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