State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, released the following statement today regarding the Governor’s announcement that 70 percent of adults in New York have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine:
“While it is important to recognize significant milestones in our battle against COVID-19, the Governor’s announcement today gives the impression that the pandemic is eradicated. Our fight against this virus has not ended, as is evidenced by the fact that people are still being encouraged by a variety of incentives to get the vaccine, certain health and safety protocols remain in place and community events, including upcoming Independence Day celebrations, have been canceled throughout the state.
Yes, we can celebrate this achievement and recognize the state’s essential workers. However, New Yorkers and their families, despite an increasing vaccination rate and decreasing rate of infection, continue to struggle to make ends meet. Restaurants, bars, small businesses, landlords and many others still face immense financial difficulties and uncertain futures. Our priority and focus must remain on helping the people of New York who continue to face significant challenges and not on potentially premature pronouncements from the Governor and fireworks, whether publically or privately funded. It is time for the Governor, as I have requested, to lift the state disaster emergency declaration that rests sole power and authority with him and to restore the Legislature as a co-equal branch of state government. I urge the Legislature to convene an extraordinary session if the Governor refuses to do so.”