ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged worshipers at three churches serving largely Black congregations to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are able.
“We now have a vaccine that will save lives, but it will only save lives if we take it," the Democratic governor said in a pre-recorded message shown Sunday at church video services in Rochester, Brooklyn and Syracuse.
Cuomo, who has complained that New York does not have enough vaccine supplies to meet the demand, said anyone who is eligible to be inoculated, including those over 65 years old, should get the vaccine if they can.
“My mother, who is 65-plus, will take it,” Cuomo said. “I have my daughters, who I love more than life itself, they will take it when they are eligible. And I will take it also. You should take it too.”
Polls have shown that vaccine skepticism is relatively high in Black communities. Two in five Black Americans in a survey last month from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research said they would not get a coronavirus vaccine.
In his recorded remarks, Cuomo said the coronavirus pandemic exposed the nation's racism, noting that Black and Hispanic people have died from the virus at higher rates than white people.
Cuomo said he would fight to deliver vaccine doses at public housing complexes and through churches and community groups “to make sure it is accessible to the hardest hit communities of color.”