February 10, 2021
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo & Biden Administration Announce Mass Vaccination Sites to Open in New York State, Targeted at Increasing Equitable Vaccination Access

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Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo & Biden Administration Announce Mass Vaccination Sites to Open in New York State, Targeted at Increasing Equitable Vaccination Access
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Sites Will Target Underserved Communities, Part of Cuomo and Biden Administrations' Efforts to Distribute Vaccine Equitably and Efficiently

Sites Serve as National Model for Equitable Distribution of Vaccine

Two Sites to Vaccinate 3,000 New Yorkers Per Day Each, to Be Established at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens

New York State & Biden Administration to Identify Additional Sites Outside of New York City to Vaccinate 1,000 New Yorkers Per Day Each

Governor Cuomo: "New York, we provide ourselves on being the progressive capital of the nation, not just in talking the talk, but in walking the walk. Not just in rhetoric, but in really. We're not just a government that postures and pontificates. Get it done, get it done. It's about results. It's about making a difference in people's lives. That's how you judge a government. That's how you judge an individual at the end of the dayWe've made great progress that no other state has made in many social equity issues, and we're going to do the same thing here."

Cuomo: "The federal government having a separate mass vaccination sites in socially vulnerable communities is a bold step. Only the first step, we have to do more, but it's a bold step that we should all take some, take as a sign of hope, and acknowledgement of the problem."

Jeff Zients: "We're putting equity front and center in this effort, partnering with states to increase vaccinations in the hardest hit and hard to reach communities. This announcement today is a demonstration of what that work looks like on the ground. As you've heard from Governor Cuomo, we're pleased to announce a partnership with the state to build two new community vaccination centers in Queens and Central Brooklyn. These new centers will focus on serving the hardest hit, hardest-to-reach populations, and at the Governor's request, we're working with the state to identify additional locations throughout the state to get more shots in arms. We're meeting communities where they are, in places they know and trust."

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith: "The sites are offering extended hours to make vaccinations accessible and convenient for those who work late nights and early mornings and so importantly, making it clear that free, safe vaccines are available regardless on an individual's ability to pay or their immigration status. Through the new vaccination sites being announced today, we are taking the response directly to the communities that need it most."

Reverend Al Sharpton: "Many in the African-American community don't trust vaccine because of past abuses like the Tuskegee experiment and let's put it out frontThis vaccine is different, and we've had to get out there and say that. We are working around the clock to making people sure in our community that the vaccine is safe and effective, and everyone should take it when it's their turn because that's how we get everyone back to work and see our families and friends safe and together."

Derrick Johnson: "At the end of the day, we must overcome the hesitancy because of the lack of trust. This government has not always provided trust that African-Americans can run towards, but the reality is the reality right now. We are facing a global health crisis that because of the neglect of the previous administration we lacked a federal response. Now that we have a new administration, we have the ability to develop a federal response but that only can happen through local and State leadership like the leadership that you have provided."

Marc Morial: "Now today, this announcement should be understood as the start, not the mass total of the mass vaccination sites, the community-based vaccination sites, the reminder that your administration with the Biden administration will stand up. Here, in New York, there are twenty million people roughly. Across the nation, three hundred million plus people. We need as many locations as possible to be able to vaccinate the Americans who want to be vaccinated, and I believe that number will continue to grow as people secure information, as their friends, their neighbors, their relatives, their allies. I believe there will be greater trust in the process as we go on."

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo joined with White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients and White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith to announce that at the Governor's request, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will establish two community-based mass-vaccination sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens - which will serve as a national model for the equitable distribution of the COVID vaccine. These two major mass vaccination sites in New York City will vaccinate approximately 3,000 New Yorkers each day over an eight-week period and, like the Yankee Stadium site in the Bronx, will be reserved only for the residents of the borough where the site is located. New York State is working with FEMA and the CDC to identify additional sites outside of New York City to launch special targeted efforts focused on vaccine equity and improving access to socially vulnerable populations, each to vaccinate 1,000 New Yorkers per day.

VIDEO of today's remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

 

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here.

PHOTOS are available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript is available below:

Governor Cuomo: Today we're announcing a federal, state partnership to open mass vaccination sites where they are most needed, with what's called socially vulnerable communities. We're pleased and happy to announce two mass vaccination sites in socially vulnerable communities, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn. We're working on several sites in upstate New York. In Queens, it's going to in Jamaica, Queens - my old stomping grounds. This is a Queens accent, by the way, not just a New York accent. Mass vaccination site that will do approximately 3,000 vaccinations per day. That will be the largest vaccination site that the state has opened to date.

The largest mass vaccination site in existence in the State of New York. Second one will be in Brooklyn. Again, 3,000 vaccinations per day at Medgar Evers College. And again, the 3,000 vaccinations is the largest in the State of New York. They'll open the week of February 24. We're going to do additional sites in Upstate New York in socially vulnerable communities in partnership with the federal government. And these sites are different than anything we've done before. The federal government is going to provide a special dosage allocation for these sites, and they will be staffed jointly by the federal government, federal Army personnel among others, and state personnel, National Guard among others. So these are going to be very large sites. They're complicated operations. But they're going to address a dramatic need in bringing the vaccine to the people who need the vaccine most. It's the first step, but only the first step.

We need more to do. New York, we provide ourselves on being the progressive capital of the nation, not just in talking the talk, but in walking the walk. Not just in rhetoric, but in really. We're not just a government that postures and pontificates. Get it done, get it done. It's about results. It's about making a difference in people's lives. That's how you judge a government. That's how you judge an individual at the end of the day. I want to thank Reverend Sharpton, who has been a great advocate on this issue, bringing attention to it early on. Same to Marc Morial and Mr. Derrick Johnson. Thank you for making the case, and making it over, and over, and over again, and bringing this nation's attention to this issue. And we're pleased and proud to do it with you in partnership with New York State. And I think the combination of talents and the approach has worked before. We've made great progress that no other state has made in many social equity issues, and we're going to do the same thing here.

I want to thank President Biden, who understands this issue and has addressed it. Jeff Zients, who is the coordinator of the administration's COVID effort, I've been working with him very closely, and he's been working with the Governors very closely, I want to thank him and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. Again, we've had this conversation ongoing from when Mr. Zients first stepped into the office, maybe even before he stepped in to the office, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, our neighbor from Connecticut, has been heading the equity task force, and that's a very important position. And again, life is in the doing, and today we are doing. So let me announce and introduce and invite Mr. Jeff Zients and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith to say a few words.

Jeff Zients: Good afternoon, Governor, and thank you for letting us join. I want to thank you for having us here today. I'm glad to have the Governor as a partner in this work, and thank him for his leadership since really the beginning of the pandemic. The people of New York State are fortunate to have him fighting for them each day. I also appreciate Majority Leader Schumer and the entire New York delegation for their help in this effort. Leader Schumer's work to pass the American rescue plan is critical to giving us the funding to do more of the important work we're discussing here today, including building more sites just like the ones Governor Cuomo has just announced.

We're grateful for the efforts of so many New Yorkers on the ground. The doctors and nurses, the teachers, the teams across our hospitals and schools and grocery stores and public transit. We know that New Yorkers have been fighting this fight for many months. Thank you. We also know that there's still much work ahead. Pleased to be here to share an update with you on our progress and highlight how we're making this work happen on the ground.

Soon after taking office, the President announced a comprehensive national strategy to fight the pandemic. This did not exist before. As part of the strategy, the President directed us to activate the full resources of the federal government to get more shots in arms. We immediately got to work. First, we're taking steps to increase the vaccine supply and get it out the door as fast as the manufacturers can make it. Yesterday, we announced another increase in the weekly allocations of vaccine doses to states, tribes and territories. We've achieved a 28 percent increase in the first three weeks of the administration. We are helping states administer the supply more efficiently and equitably by providing them with visibility into the supply they will receive across the next three weeks. That allows the doing that the Governor just mentioned.

Second, we're mobilizing teams to get shots in arms. At the president's direction, we are moving quickly to get more vaccinators on the ground, including retired doctors and nurses. We've deployed hundreds of personnel across the federal government, from FEMA, to the Department of Agriculture, to HHS and other federal agencies, to support vaccination operations nationwide. And we have plans to deploy thousands more.

Third, we're creating more places where Americans can get vaccinated. To do so, we've expedited financial support to bolster community vaccination centers nationwide, with over $3 billion in federal funding across 35 states, tribes and territories. We've launched efforts to get more vaccines to pharmacies and community health centers, and we're building new community vaccination center from the ground up in stadiums, community centers, school gyms and parking lots all across the country.

We're putting equity front and center in this effort, partnering with states to increase vaccinations in the hardest hit and hard to reach communities. This announcement today is a demonstration of what that work looks like on the ground. As you've heard from Governor Cuomo, we're pleased to announce a partnership with the state to build two new community vaccination centers in Queens and Central Brooklyn. These new centers will focus on serving the hardest hit, hardest-to-reach populations, and at the Governor's request, we're working with the state to identify additional locations throughout the state to get more shots in arms. We're meeting communities where they are, in places they know and trust. This is a central part of our strategy and we look forward to continuing to build on these partnerships with states and localities to scale innovative models that meet the needs of the communities we serve. And with that, I'll turn it over to Dr. Nunez-Smith, who leads our Health Equity Task Force, who will speak about how today's announcement is bringing our equity work to life. Dr. Nunez-Smith.

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith: Thank you so much, Jeff, and thank you Governor Cuomo, for having us here today. As you mentioned, I'm in charge of leading the Biden-Harris Administration's COVID19 Health Equity Task Force and our work is to ensure that we don't leave anyone behind in our response to this pandemic. You know, both the President and the Vice-President have made it clear since the beginning that they are committed to centering their administration's COVID-19 response on equity. We're grateful that Vice President Harris set a blueprint for how to advise this commitment during her time in the Senate and now, we're announcing the creation of our Health Equity Task Force.

You know, President Biden agreed with the necessity for the task force and he signed on his first full day in office an Executive Order to bring this into being and today we're so excited that that vision for the federal vision of a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force is becoming reality. And sir, before joining you for this event, I announced the 12 Americans that the President has selected to serve as the non-federal members on this task force. You know, their backgrounds are noteworthy, as is their expertise and they represent really a diverse range of racial ethnic groups and also represent many other key constituencies and they will help guide our administration's response to ensure equity remains at the core. Which brings us to the announcement that we're making here today with the State of New York. I mean, this is a perfect example of our equity work coming to life and this is a model for the potential we have to do this well across the country.

You know, we're keeping equity front-and-center at these sites, partnering with community-based organizations to build trust — importantly in these communities. You know, focusing on local community residents, making it easier for them to get appointments and ultimately get vaccinated. The sites are offering extended hours to make vaccinations accessible and convenient for those who work late nights and early mornings and so importantly, making it clear that free, safe vaccines are available regardless on an individual's ability to pay or their immigration status. Through the new vaccination sites being announced today, we are taking the response directly to the communities that need it most, so thank you Governor Cuomo, for your partnership — and thank you to all of the frontline workers, the federal personnel, everyone who is going to vaccinate thousands of people at these sites. Fantastic news. Back to you, Governor.

Governor Cuomo: Well, thank you very much, Dr. and thank you Mr. Zients and I can't tell you how welcome news it is. Someone in my position who has been making this case and fighting this case for over the past year, making the point that we need a special effort to reach left-behind communities and frankly, I made the case for a year and there was very little response. What you have done in such a short period of time with not only the commitment that we knew President Biden had made during the campaign and that this is an issue he fully understood — but now the actions you're taking — these mass vaccination sites are going to be great. The large number, the extended hours, these are no doubt the most effective way to get the vaccine out quickly and in the places, and in the community that needs them, so congratulations to you for moving this quickly. I was in the federal government at one time, I know sometimes it's not that easy to get the bureaucracy moving as quickly as you would like it to move.

I have a doctrine here; we call it the Doctrine of Constructive Impatience. Constructive Impatience: I'm impatient with the bureaucracy, but in a constructive way. And Mr. Zients, who has stepped into a really difficult position and has all the governors who have been dealing with this for a long time and have a whole list of needs that he could never possibly meet. He's been a great partner to all the governors. He's been a special friend to the State of New York and in an amazingly short period of time, he has come up to speed and he's working seven days a week and again, the proof is in the pudding — you're delivering. You're delivering, and that's what we respect here in the State of New York. We appreciate the efforts and the good wishes, but we truly respect the product and you are making a difference in people's lives, so thank you.

It's my pleasure to partner with you and we'll do a lot more good things, so welcome even in a virtual way to the State of New York. When you're here and when we can do it safely, we'll give you the full tour and we'll show you the community and the faces and the people that you truly helped, so thank you very much. Thank you, Dr., thank you Mr. Zients. My pleasure.

Jeff Zients: Thank you. Thank you.

Governor Cuomo: Thank you. OK, we now turn to three good friends of mine personally and of the State of New York, three champions for social justice who have made the case strongly and passionately and the case is right and the case was heard and you put the State of New York together with the intelligence and power and advocacy of these three individuals and we're going to do great things and today is evidence of the great things that we have done. So, I truly appreciate everything they have done, not just for New York, but for this nation. Let's start with Rev. Al Sharpton. Reverend, are you with us today?

Reverend Al Sharpton: Yes. Thank you, Governor. First of all, it's a pleasure to be here with you and with my good friends and partners in civil rights, Marc Morial and Derrick Johnson. And I have to say this Governor, you've done a tremendous [inaudible] COVID-19. The vaccine equity task force is really a model for the nation and I hope those in Washington- in fact I'm proud of my own daughter Dominique in serving on the taskforce. So, I know it's not a showpiece, it's for real.

Now you and I have known each other a long time and I've always I told you when I agree and disagree, but I've been impressed with your determination to make things happen - not just talk about things, but get things done, and the partnership with the Biden administration is good news for the neglected communities, the Black and Latinx, and poor communities, and finally having someone in the White House that knows which end is up and then a partner in New York, and fighting for vaccine equity is the recipe for us. It makes all the difference in the world, it's really a matter of life and death so, I want to thank both Dr. Nunez-Smith and Mr. Zients for leadership, but these mass vaccination sites in Queens and Brooklyn will have a huge impact so, I think the other additional states, the four additional sites in underserved communities that the State, and FEMA, and I believe CDC and the White House task force is working to identify throughout the State of New York will have major impact because I'm hearing every day as people want to move forward, they didn't feel they had access. For months now, I give you credit for saying that this healthcare system is biased, and you had that right. In fact, you called me one morning, went on my TV show and broke it national that we are not doing the right thing. You started that as a governor, and I give you credit for that.

Many Black Americans live in healthcare deserts where there are no hospitals or healthcare centers and you stood up and brought that out and I'll give you credit for that. You know when I don't agree with you, I'll let you know that too but this one, I have to say you made a national impact and you didn't just talk about, you've been setting up these pop-up vaccine sites around the state for communities of color with high infection rates.

Access is one thing but as you know we also have a big challenge with skepticism in our communities about the vaccine. Many in the African-American community don't trust vaccine because of past abuses like the Tuskegee experiment and let's put it out front. Like the disgraceful treatment of Henrietta Lacks, like forced sterilization of women in Puerto Rico and in the South, but this vaccine is different, and we've had to get out there and say that. We are working around the clock to making people sure in our community that the vaccine is safe and effective, and everyone should take it when it's their turn because that's how we get everyone back to work and see our families and friends safe and together.

Just last week Black churches around the country launched national education program to provide awareness, we work with the Conference of Black Denominations with Franklin Richardson, a friend of yours and now we have an awareness group, Choose Healthy Life with Reverend Dr. Calvin Butts. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Religious leaders should serve as the thermostat that transforms society, not a thermometer that takes the temperature and allows social pressures to influence it." So we plan to make this a national model, we know that it kicked off with you Governor, and we want to identify with specificity the NYCHA community rooms, the churches, the mosques, the synagogues and other places our people go so they don't have to get in a car or find a Walgreens that's not in our community.

We're in the fight, and we're fighting for our lives, and we're fighting with our lives. And in fact Governor, I've said, I've got a group of ministers that I and they are going to go to one of these facilities to take the vaccine ourselves - I have not taken one - so I'm one of those that want to be a symbol to those that are skeptical that this is safe and that we need to do this because it's made available to us. Thank you Governor.

Governor Cuomo: Reverend, let me thank you. Thank you for the kind words, but thank you for what you did here because you really stepped up and you stepped up at a time when it wasn't easy and people hear your voice and I thank you for all the help you've been. We have been doing public housing authorities and churches all across the State working together. This is going to make a dramatic impact because the numbers are so big. These mass vaccination sites, 3,000 per day. You're talking about 15,000 per week. That dwarfs everything. You take a place like Javits Center which is now our big vaccination site, Yankee Stadium we have in the Bronx, but they're like 1,000 a day. 3,000 a day is just tremendous numbers and the federal government is providing a special allocation for these places and that's how we get it done.

Also, Reverend, your point about speaking the truth so we can address it. I don't like the term vaccine hesitancy, people are hesitant about the vaccine. They're not hesitant, they don't trust the vaccine. It's a trust issue. You're right, you call it what it is, put it up front, otherwise you're never going to get past it. I understand why they don't trust the government, trust the system. The government and system has never been fair with them. Now, all of a sudden, they should trust? Your voice, the minister's voices, I think are very, very important here. You're right, there are a lot of reasons for distrust but not on this one.

Let's tell it the way it is and that's the case we have to make. This is a good start. You're right about President Biden's administration. We were banging our head against the wall for 4 long years here in New York and making the case with very little results. Fighting the good fight is one thing, actually winning a few is something different. President Biden does get it and this was a very dramatic and quick response so we thank him very much for it.

Thank you for everything you do. Let's go to Mr. Johnson and the NAACP, Hazel Dukes we have here, she's been a great champion. She calls herself my second mother because she gives me a tough time that is second only to my mother, I'll tell you the truth, but she has been fantastic on this and she's done ads for us and she's appearing everywhere to try to get people to take the vaccine and the NAACP has been such a great and formidable partner so thank you, Mr. Johnson. Thank you for being here. Sir.

Derrick Johnson: Thank you, Governor, for your leadership and Hazel giving you a hard time. She gives both me and Al a hard time, just in her nature.

You know your leadership is something to be modeled by many states across the country. As we begin to educate our members and work with communities, it is not lost on us that you jumped out early.

First, let's call racism what it is. It is structural in nature and [inaudible] to African-Americans created a pandemic on top of the pandemic. Secondly, you recognize that stating a problem is not enough. It's moving towards a solution. When we convened on a press call in November that was also critical to try to do all you could as a governor, as a leader, to get the vaccine closer to people, whether it's in public housing, whether it's in the Javits Center, whatever the case may be.

When I leave from this press conference, I'm going to take my mother to get her vaccine at one of the federally qualified health clinics, clinics that are trusted medical providers in our communities, particularly in rural America and especially in the South. At the end of the day, we must overcome the hesitancy because of the lack of trust. This government has not always provided trust that African-Americans can run towards, but the reality is the reality right now. We are facing a global health crisis that because of the neglect of the previous administration we lacked a federal response. Now that we have a new administration, we have the ability to develop a federal response but that only can happen through local and State leadership like the leadership that you have provided.

For the NAACP, we're not telling people to take the vaccine or not to take the vaccine. We are telling people that here are your options, here are your opportunities that you need to exercise your options based on the information that's been brought forward. This virus isn't race specific but because there are so many underlining health conditions, that because there are so many environmental concerns that are married to African-American communities because of bad public policy of the past, we must recognize that this should be a zip code-focused approach where we have high incidents of death and contraction of the virus, we need to have high incidents of deploying the vaccine so those who are most vulnerable are provided the necessary support so we can curb the spread of the virus.

What's logical to us oftentimes is political to others. What we see as solutions for us, others see as problems, but in this moment we all must see the same solutions to the problems that confronted us. We cannot open our economy, we cannot go to any place of normalcy, until we address and attack this virus as aggressive as possible.

But because of your leadership, Governor, we are postured to do so because of the Biden administration's willingness to do what's necessary, we're going to be able to get past this, but that only can happen if we continue this type of relationships through this type of partnerships, so thank you for your leadership and I want to thank my counterparts Al and Marc. They always tell me what to do so I hope I read their script appropriately.

Governor Cuomo: They always tell me what to do also. I consider them my older brothers, you know, Al and Marc. They went down the path before me. They know what to expect so that's my story and I'm sticking with it. Mr. Johnson, thank you. You're so right it's a pandemic on top of a pandemic. It's the COVID virus on top of the racism virus but there is a poetic justice here. I saw behind you on your shelf a book that said Medgar Evers on it. This is going to take place at Medgar Evers College, so at one point justice is done. If you keep fighting the fight long enough you win when you're right, and we were right and we are right and these vaccines will be at Medgar Evers College so we take the victories where we can get them.

Let me turn now to last but never least, former Mayor, I had the good pleasure of working with the Mayor when I was HUD Secretary and he was extraordinary then and he's only gotten better. He is a great asset to this nation and again another older brother to me and his guidance has been helpful to me for many years. Marc Morial, thank you very much and congratulations.

Marc Morial: Governor, I checked your driver's license. I think you got me beat. First of all, let me thank you, Governor, for your leadership and for assembling us today and certainly to Al and Derrick for the continued partnership and collaboration amongst this generation's civil rights champions and leaders, and also to Jeff Zients and Marcella Nunez-Smith who have been on the case since President Biden has been elected and goes without saying that we want to express our appreciation and continued support for the Biden administration's effort to clean up the colossal confusion and chaotic mess that they inherited when it comes to the COVID response. Let me say this - it was in November or late October that my phone at home rang at 7:15 and it was one of those constructive impatience calls from Andrew Cuomo at 7:15 and I said Governor, you work at 7:15, I'm up working too, it was a Sunday morning. And the Governor shared with me that he had learned that the Biden, rather the Trump Administration's emerging plan for the distribution for vaccines would be wholly inequitable. And he shared with me what he learned, and we agreed at that point that there was a need to respond, there was a need to act.

True to Governor Cuomo's preference for action over pontification for verification and rhetoric, he shared with me the thought to create a vaccine equity task force, a working group that would advise him, advise his administration, but also externally advocate for a more equitable approach to the distribution of the vaccine. So Governor I want to thank you because you saw, you recognized early, that this was going to be an inaccurate approach by the previous administration, and began at that point in time laying a framework and a groundwork for a broader approach.

Now today, this announcement should be understood as the start, not the mass total of the mass vaccination sites, the community-based vaccination sites, the reminder that your administration with the Biden administration will stand up.

Here, in New York, there are twenty million people roughly. Across the nation, three hundred million plus people. We need as many locations as possible to be able to vaccinate the Americans who want to be vaccinated, and I believe that number will continue to grow as people secure information, as their friends, their neighbors, their relatives, their allies. I believe there will be greater trust in the process as we go on.

The Biden Administration has put science, data, and expertise first. On the trust factor, it's been my view, and it remains my view, that we need a broader engagement effort, a communications effort to meet people where they are, provide them with information, and encourage them to make an intelligent choice about taking the vaccine. Consult healthcare professionals, not online conspiracy theorists, to get the best information that they indeed need.

So it is a very, very important part of our work today at the National Urban League, and within the Urban League affiliates of the state of New York, to align this effort to expand access, community based access to the vaccine, to expand the information that people need with respect to this vaccine. But Governor, you understood this early and first. Put your voice and your Administration's actions behind it, and my hope is that this partnership with the federal government will be replicated across the nation, as other states, Governors, Mayors, County Executives, and community leaders confront how they can create and produce access to the vaccine in communities across the land.

So I want to thank you very much for your leadership and pledge the continued work of the vaccine equity task force to both push, prod, assist, help, and advise this very important effort. We will not get past this, we will not get beyond this, if we do not accelerate and effectively deploy this vaccine to every village and hamlet and neighborhood and barrio and community across the great state of New York.

Governor Cuomo: Thank you so much. Just so you know, I wouldn't have called you at 7:15 in the morning. What happened is I got Reverend Sharpton on the phone at 7, and it was a brief conversation, he said call Marc and then call me back, and then hung up the phone. That's why I called you at 7:15. Poor Reverend Sharpton is muted. Yes I'm sure, preparing the sermon.

But, poor Reverend Sharpton is muted. That's the first time -

Reverend Sharpton: Well, Governor Cuomo and Marc have been muting me for thirty years but I still break through. The reason you called me at 7 and I told you to call Marc is because I was on the elliptical working out. So I'd encourage you younger fellas to get in shape.

Governor Cuomo: I'll leave it there, I believe it. The, but the Mayor's words are exactly right. Look we did make this case early on. And that's why we are where we are today. Because this is a bold step. The federal government having a separate mass vaccination sites in socially vulnerable communities is a bold step. Only the first step, we have to do more, but it's a bold step that we should all take some, take as a sign of hope, and acknowledgement of the problem. And you're right Mayor, we have to get at this trust issue, and we have to get at it locally and at it nationally, because it's not going to go away on its own. I've had, as I'm sure you've all had, many individual conversations. And it is a deep distrust. And a deep skepticism. And saying well you should go first, you should go in the first round, you know people say to me all day long, you go first and tell me how it goes, and then we'll see.

So that's going to be an ongoing effort. But together we'll do it, and today was a great, great, great step. Thank you all very much. Reverend Sharpton, thank you. Mr. Johnson, thank you. Mayor Morial, thank you very much. God Bless you, thank you.

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