Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York, recently asserted that he will not take the coronavirus vaccine until it is distributed to “Black, Hispanic and poor communities”, using Scripture as his support.
According to The Christian Post, Cuomo delivered his remarks in a pre-recorded message on Sunday at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, led by Rev. Calvin Butts III.
“I am committed to social and racial justice in the distribution of this vaccine”, Cuomo asserted. “It will be available as fairly and as quickly as we can make it happen. Race or income will not determine who lives and who dies. And I mean it.’’
Despite moving around a lot and coming into contact with “many people”, Cuomo contended that he will not take the vaccine until it is available for the poor and people of color in New York.
The Democratic governor acknowledged the “cynicism and skepticism” from the Black community in light of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment which took place between 1932 and 1972.
The study, which was conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service, examined the effects of untreated syphilis in 600 Black men in Macon County, Alabama. The men, who were recruited for the trial before there was a treatment for the disease, were promised free medical care if they participated in the experiment. By 1940, penicillin was adopted as the preferred treatment for syphilis, but the participants were never given proper treatment for the disease, and instead, doctors observed the effects of the disease when untreated.
Citing Scripture from Matthew and Galatians, Cuomo called congregants to “have faith and trust in the vaccine” after noting that the virus was killing Hispanics and Black people at a higher rate than White people.
“The good book says, ‘the first shall be last and the last shall be first’ in Matthew 20:16. Until the vaccine is available in the South Bronx, and the East Side of Buffalo, and Wyandanch, and South Jamaica, and Edgerton and East Utica, our health care deserts, our job is not done. I'll do my part, but you have to do your part.
“We all need to have faith and trust in the vaccine, and we need to have generosity in our souls, where we act for the good of one another,” he continued. “The Good Book says, in Paul's epistle to the Galatians, ‘carry each other's burdens.’ That is our mission today. 2021 will be what we make it. We are New York Tough.”
Cuomo stressed that in order for the state’s vaccination program to be effective, at least “70 to 90 percent of New Yorkers” will need to be vaccinated.
“That is an enormous number,” he noted. “Think of it — 90 percent of New Yorkers don't agree to do anything, let alone take a vaccine. This is not only an individual responsibility, it is a community obligation. There is a simplicity to the virus: no one is safe unless everyone is safe.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Spencer Platt/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.