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Cuomo to create vaccine task force for outreach into underserved communities

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is developing a task force to make sure underserved communities are tested for COVID-19 at greater rates then they have previously.

Admitting underserved communities in the New York were under-represented in initial stages of testing for the virus, Cuomo vowed not to make the same mistake again.

“They were left behind during COVID, highest infection rate, lowest testing rate,” he said. “Black communities, Latino communities, poor communities. Left to the markets forces, you will see, once again, Black, Latino and poor communities left behind.”

Cuomo said he is developing a task force to penetrate areas largely left to their own devices to handle the virus the first time around. He hopes for it to become a model to the country for equitable outreach for the vaccine.

“How do we get it into Black churches,” Cuomo said. “How do we get into Public Housing Authorities? How do we get it into community centers? How do we run a public education campaign to the Black community, to the Latino Community and poor communities saying this is safe?”

New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado and Attorney General Letitia James will co-chair the task force.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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