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Gov. Cuomo threatens to sue Trump administration over vaccine distribution

In this file photo taken on May 26, 2020 Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at Wall Street in New York City. (AFP photo)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has threatened to sue the administration of Republican President Donald Trump if it moves ahead with its immunization distribution plan.

The governor has blasted Trump’s distribution plan as discriminatory, saying it would limit Black and brown people’s access to coronavirus vaccinations.

Cuomo has previously said the plan relied too much on hospitals, drug stores and clinics to deliver the vaccine, noting communities of color often have limited access to public or private healthcare.

“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,” said Cuomo during a Sunday service at Riverside Church in New York City, according to the Post-Standard.

“I’m not going to allow New Yorkers to be bullied or abused,’’ the governor said.

"We will fight to make sure every life is protected equally because enough people have died and enough injustice has been done during COVID," Cuomo said. "It stops now and it stops with this vaccine."

His remarks come after Trump on Friday said the federal government was developing a plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to all Americans as soon as April, however, he singled out New York — and Cuomo in particular — for seeking an independent panel to review any vaccine before it is distributed in the state.

"As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exceptions of places like New York state where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say, and I don't think it's good politically, I think it's very bad from a health point, but he wants to take his time on the vaccine, he doesn't trust where the vaccine's coming from," Trump said Friday.

"We won't be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say that," he said.

The fatal disease has especially affected people of color, with an analysis conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August showing unequal amounts of cases in communities of color across a number of hot spots.

Other researches have indicated Black and Hispanic people are also more liable to suffer serious illness or death as a result of the virus.

Research also shows this may be because a combination of the disproportionate likelihood of these people suffering from underlying health conditions, lack of access to healthcare and people of color being more likely to be essential workers.

The United States, the worst-hit country in the world by the coronaivrus, surpassed 11 million cases on Sunday, adding one million new infections in less than a week.

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