Cuomo Dedicates $15 Million for Community Outreach to the State’s 25% Unvaccinated
By Yehudit Garmaise
As part of the effort to fight back against the third wave of COVID brought about by the Delta variant, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is focusing on the 25% of the state’s population that remains unvaccinated.
Due to the quickly-spreading Delta variant, while June 26 saw 346 new COVID cases in New York, yesterday, the state saw 1900 new COVID positives, the governor said.
The areas with the least vaccinated tend to be low-income areas that have limited access to healthcare, Gov. Cuomo said.
“If we do not focus on vaccinating the [unvaccinated] 25%, you will see the COVID positivity rate go up, and we cannot let that happen,” Gov. Cuomo said this morning. “I will do everything I can. We have to spread this message, or we will spread the virus.
“It comes down to giving you the facts and the truth so you can do what you need to do.
The way that the governor proposes to “get ourselves in gear, and get the job done,” is by dedicating $15 million to fund community organizations to go out and have these conversations in these vaccine hesitant communities: starting today,” the governor said.
“We are doing outreach on the ground through community-based organizations,” said Gov. Cuomo. “The approach has to be community-based organization that can have conversations within the community who culturally know them and their fears.
"We know where [the unvaccinated] live. We have to knock on their doors, and talk to them about why they don't want to get vaccinated, and talk them through it.
"The time to act is now."
The message to vaccinate, the governor said, cannot come from the “top-down,” governor said, who explained that the message to vaccinated have to come from people who “speaks their languages: literally and figuratively. Someone as to say to them, “Tell me what you are worried about. Tell me what your fear.”
“The money will greatly expand our ability to educate communities,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. “With this funding local organizations with local branches and chapters such as the NAACP, National Urban League, and National Urban Network will have the financial support they need to give people the information they need. This is the critical final push to end COVID-19.
“Not doing all we can to vaccinate as many people we can is not to finish the race.”
“These organizations, such as the Hispanic Federation, the Asian-American Federation, are going to go door-to-door to have these conversations we need to have to get these vaccination numbers up,” Gov. Cuomo said.
“The numbers are going up,” the governor said. “We have to do something about it. That is what makes up different as New Yorkers. We act. We are not passive. We are not just going to sit there and let it happen to us. Let’s recognize our individual responsibility.
"The numbers are alarming, and I urge the localities to act now."
(Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)