Former New York State Democratic Party leader John Sullivan, who worked as the upstate coordinator for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) 2014 reelection campaign, received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) Florida, admitting he “probably wouldn’t have gotten it by now in New York.”
Sullivan, 73, is a resident of New York but has reportedly subleased an apartment in St. Petersburg, Florida, making him eligible to receive a vaccine in Florida, which is prioritizing the elderly population despite critiques from prominent establishment media outlets such as CNN.
“I got the vaccine down here,” the New Yorker told the New York Post. “I probably wouldn’t have gotten it by now in New York.”
Sullivan recognized Florida as a leader in vaccinating seniors, praised DeSantis for choosing to prioritize that population, and noted that Cuomo’s call to vaccinate seniors “came a week later,” as the Democrat governor instead prioritized healthcare workers.
“You know how many people could have been inoculated in a week?” Sullivan asked.
While he said healthcare workers should remain a priority, Sullivan questioned if they should move ahead in line over the “most vulnerable senior population.”
“Probably not,” he said, later identifying Cuomo as a “micro-manager.”
Both Florida and New York have administered more than 40 percent of the vaccines each state has received, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) data last updated January 15. Florida has administered 853,081 of the 2,069,175 doses it has received, while New York has administered 757,466 of the 1,884,325 it has distributed.
Cuomo’s administration defended the governor’s initial decision to inoculate healthcare workers over New York seniors, describing it as “not only the science-based CDC recommendation,” but necessary to ensure that hospitals do not get “overwhelmed in the last leg of this pandemic.”
Cuomo spokesman Jack Sterne also included a dig at DeSantis, stating that “anyone holding Florida up as a good example of anything during this pandemic needs to have their head examined.”
New York has reported 1.24 million cases of the virus and 40,570 related deaths since the start of the pandemic, compared to Florida, which has reported more cases, 1.57 million, but thousands of fewer deaths, 24,136, despite having a large senior population.