ALBANY, NY—With news breaking that the Governor’s vaccine ‘Czar’ made calls to county officials to ‘gauge their loyalty’ to the embattled Governor, Senator Sue Serino this week joined her colleagues in calling for the federal government to remove distribution powers from the state and work directly with local counties to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.

“To say these reports are disturbing would be a gross understatement,” said Senator Serino. “Vaccine distribution is about saving real, human lives, and we must have zero tolerance for any politicization of the distribution process. The state’s rollout has been a disaster since day one, and now that we are seeing an uptick in the rate of distribution, County Executives should be singularly focused on getting shots into arms, not on the political repercussions they may face for seeking accountability at the state level. The Governor’s office must be fully removed from the process of determining where any vaccines would go.”

In a letter to U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Serino and her colleagues highlight the inherent ethical conflict presented when the individual in charge of spearheading the state’ vaccine distribution process—who interfaces with local government officials regularly—is also making calls to these same officials to determine their stance on the many scandals plaguing the Governor.

Specifically, the members are urging New York’s Federal officials to step in and give the federal government authority to completely remove the Governor’s office from the vaccination process.