Connect with us

Featured

Surgeon General addresses misconceptions, urges inoculations as COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins

Published

on

Screen Shot 2020 12 14 at 3.58.43 PM scaled

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar observed the vaccination of five hospital workers Monday at a “kick-off” event, on the same day that the historic coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer is beginning to be delivered to sites all across the United States and as certain high-priority individuals receive the first doses.

Adams notably addressed the hesitancy of many people of color to get the vaccine and how to encourage vaccination within many minority communities.

This long-awaited day also comes as the United States’ total COVID-19 death toll surpasses 300,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

We must now move from vaccines to vaccinations. And it would be a great tragedy if disparity is actually worsened because the people who could most benefit from this vaccine won’t take it.

Surgeon general Jerome Adams

“Today is truly an historic day,” Adams said at the afternoon press conference held at George Washington University’s hospital. “Vaccinations have been a tried and true public health measure for hundreds of years. But the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is nothing short of revolutionary, and I hope everybody appreciates the importance, the significance, the history of this moment.”

The surgeon general also thanked researchers across the country and the globe for their “Herculean efforts to bring us to where the light of the end of this long and dark tunnel.”

“But, […] having a vaccine is only the first step. We must now move from vaccines to vaccinations. And it would be a great tragedy if disparity is actually worsened because the people who could most benefit from this vaccine won’t take it.”

“I’ve often said, ‘Vaccines are one of our greatest social injustices in this country.’ So ensuring that all Americans have an equitable opportunity to receive the vaccine and promoting vaccine confidence and equitable uptake will be critical if we want to save lives, ensure the protection of all Americans against COVID-19, and end this pandemic.”

Adams then went on to speak about distrust within communities of color being a cause for reluctance to receive the vaccine, saying that such “lack of trust is not without good reason.”

He then cited the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment that occurred for decades as one of those reasons for distrust, adding that the studies “occurred within many of our own lifetimes.” The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment allowed over 600 Black men to live with syphilis for 40 years between 1932 and 1972, even though they were being told they were receiving health care from the government.

“To truly combat vaccine hesitancy and encourage diverse enrollment in clinical trials,” Adams continued, “we must first acknowledge this real history of mistreatment and exploitation of minorities by the medical community and the government.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

You may like

Continue Reading

Featured

Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

Published

on

Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 2.45.28 PM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

You may like

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending Now

Advertisement

Trending