For Immediate Release: February 1, 2021
NYT investigation reveals malaise in New York’s public health bureaucracy, widespread internal dissatisfaction with Governor Cuomo
Council Member Joe Borelli is using New York State’s freedom of information law to request all communications between the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Governor Cuomo’s office relating to declaring orange zones in his community of Staten Island, as well as communications between NYS DOH and the Governor’s office relating to the decisions about indoor dining in New York City.
Borelli’s move to preserve and obtain the Cuomo Administration’s communications comes on the heels of a blistering report in The New York Times published this morning in which the departures of numerous top New York State public health officials are detailed. The Times’ investigation describes the public health bureaucracy in New York as demoralized and in a deep state of malaise because of Governor Cuomo’s approach to management and vaccine strategy, with Cuomo having discarded longstanding vaccination plans used by the NYS Department of Health in favor of an approach that relied on large hospital systems instead.
Additionally, the story outlines Cuomo’s habit of acting outside of the recommendations of his own health department on Covid-19 health policy. Borelli hopes to determine whether or not lockdowns in November and December actually came at the recommendation of state health experts.
“The Times article shows a governor who has acted outside of the recommendations of his own health experts,” Council Member Borelli said. “We can see that his vaccination plan centered around rewarding donors and lobbying groups, rather than on the pre-planned and rehearsed state and local protocols. They governor played politics and New York lost, and I know many owners are wondering whether politics went into the business shutdowns as well.”