New York Attorney General Letitia James has criticized Governor Kathy Hochul for her alleged failure to deal with rising COVID-19 rates in the state.
James, who announced his gubernatorial candidacy just three weeks ago, argues that with increasing case rates in upstate New York, state leaders must ” take immediate action to bring infection rates under control and help stop future outbreaks before they happen â.
“The state government is failing to act to address the COVID crisis in some of New York State’s most vulnerable communities – last week the 7-day average percentage of positive test results is increased from 8.87% to 9.48% in western New York. The rates are also over 8% in the Finger Lakes, âshe said.
The attorney general said it was “troubling” that despite the accessibility of vaccines, some areas of New York are currently reporting hospitalization rates higher than last year’s figures.
James said the government must take action: “It is time to act now to save lives. Anything that is not bold action is unacceptable.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (pictured) slammed Governor Kathy Hochul for her alleged failure to resolve the state’s COVID-19 crisis
James announced on October 29 that she would challenge fellow Democrat Kathy Hochul (pictured) in the race for state governor in 2022.
State data released on Sunday revealed a seven-day average positivity of 6,177 cases or 9.48%, with a peak of 7,971 positive cases reported on Wednesday.
Over the past two weeks, the positivity rate has increased by 52%. There was also an 11 percent of hospitalizations across the state.
During the same period, reported deaths from COVID fell by 11%.
In the wake of current trends, James offered several potential solutions to avert a new wave statewide.
She argued that New York is using trusted community partners to educate citizens living in vaccine-hesitant areas, create census-like outreach outside major cities, and expand contextual and mobile vaccination sites.
The attorney general also encouraged the government to use public funds to obtain millions of home COVID tests and to offer financial incentives to obtain the vaccine.
State data released on Sunday revealed a seven-day average positivity of 6,177 cases or 9.48%, with a peak of 7,971 positive cases reported on Wednesday
James argued as case rates rise in upstate, New York officials must “take immediate action to bring infection rates under control and help stop future outbreaks before they happen “
Additionally, she criticized heads of state for low recall rates.
âAs of last week, New York City had one of the lowest rates of residents who received booster shots in the country,â James said. “This is unacceptable and New York needs to raise awareness to encourage boosters for New Yorkers.”
She continued, “The state should also start offering daily recall reports by county and region.”
Meanwhile, Hochul reported on Sunday that 89.9% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 76.9% of all eligible residents received at least one injection.
96,564 doses of vaccine were administered in the past 24 hours. It is not known how many of them are first hits, second hits or boosters.
In the wake of current trends, James offered several potential solutions to prevent another statewide outbreak.
James, 63, has spoken about the state’s handling of the pandemic since former Governor Andrew Cuomo was in office.
In January, his office released a 76-page report following a months-long investigation that alleged the The New York Department of Health has underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by up to 50%.
The investigation, which put her at odds with the then governor who often bragged about New York’s handling of the virus, also reportedly found that several nursing homes were not complying with “critical control policies. infections “.
“As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why residents of New York City nursing homes have suffered needlessly at such an alarming rate,” James said in a statement at the time. .
“While we cannot bring back the people we have lost to this crisis, this report seeks to provide the transparency the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents.”
The attorney general also announced on October 29 that she would challenge fellow Democrat Hochul, the former lieutenant governor, who replaced Cuomo when he resigned on August 24. Elections for governor are due to take place next November.
James also conducted a five-month independent investigation into allegations of sexual assault against the former governor.
The investigation concluded that Cuomo had engaged in behavior that violated several federal and state laws.
However, on Thursday Rita Galvin, an attorney for Cuomo, called on James to withdraw from any decision regarding the sexual harassment case against the former governor, saying her campaign for governor created a conflict of interest.
“Her office has to recuse herself as she is campaigning for governor,” said Galvin. “His judgment during these months has been absolutely compromised by his political motives.”
The attorney also noted that James announced his campaign a day after the Albany County Sheriff’s Office charged Cuomo with a sex offense.
Following his gubernatorial bid, one of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attorneys (pictured) called on James to step back from any ruling on the sexual harassment case against the former governor, saying his campaign had created a conflict of interest.
The attorney general’s report revealed that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.
The former governor has denied any wrongdoing and said in August he accepts “full responsibility” for what he called ill-conceived attempts to be affectionate or humorous. He also said he would resign for the good of the state.
James’ office says it stands by the report of sexual misconduct and the women who made the allegations against the former governor.
In a statement Thursday, his office called Cuomo’s tactics “schoolyard bullying” and a way for the former governor to keep his name in the spotlight.
“Today’s embarrassing press conference was simply dramatic and deceptively outraged,” the statement read. “If Andrew Cuomo didn’t want to be accused of sexual harassment, he shouldn’t have sexually harassed several women in the first place.”