Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A Statement from the Chair

Earlier today, the following press release was issued by Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors.
"This situation has gone beyond crazy," said Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell on Tuesday. 
"Governor Cuomo's vaccination distribution quote-plan-unquote has done nothing but sow confusion in the state and Columbia County," Chairman Murell continued. "Every day seems to bring another random announcement that does nothing to further the cause of getting the vaccine in the arms of our residents."
The governor's announcement last Friday that vaccine distribution was being expanded to include the 1B and now 1C categories caused an avalanche of telephone calls into the county Department of Health, Chairman Murell said. That barrage of calls continues as county residents seek to determine their eligibility, and, if possible, to sign up for their vaccine.
"As soon as someone hung up the phone, another call comes in, which has only been exacerbated by the state's hotline being overwhelmed," said Chairman Murell. "The system, such as it is, is broken. There are now millions of more people eligible--under the state plan--for the vaccine than there are available vaccines. It's beyond unreasonable to expect the county Department of Health to conduct vaccination PODS, test for the coronavirus, answer a barrage of telephone calls, contact trace, and conduct normal business under these conditions, among other daily tasks. This has all been caused by the State's haphazard approach to managing the vaccine distribution process."  
On Monday, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said that his department was allotted 300 doses of the vaccine this week. "That allows us to reach only a tiny portion of those eligible," he noted.
"It makes no sense at all," said Chairman Murell. "I may be painting with a broad brush here, but basic math tells me if we continue to receive but 300 doses per week, in a county of 62,000 residents, it will take months for individuals to get their first doses."
Further, he said, "At a time when county personnel are already hamstrung by COVID-19 infections, mandatory quarantines, and other COVID-related issues, county workers are being diverted into assisting the Department of Health. That's one thing, but to attempt to keep up with the governor's whims and conduct county business at the same time is a near-superhuman chore."  

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said New York is getting 300,000 doses a week. One-thousandth of that amount is coming to Columbia County.


  1. The Chairman telling it like it is. January 12th and only 35% of vaccine administered state wide?
    County mass vaccination drills for years and then the Emperor has to scrap the plans because they don't meet his political aims.
    I'm sure his cynical spin will be another chapter in his next book.

  2. Just for everyone's reference, New York State residents can see if they are eligible and look for vaccine sites within 100 mi of their location. Since child care providers are included in phase 1b, I was designated as eligible yesterday and went to Greene county to get my vaccination today. It was a very efficient process and was almost totally painless. I recommend using the link below to establish your eligibility and sign up for an appointment. https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

  3. Welcome to Dysfunctional New York State --

  4. I have applied to 'am-i-eligible.' was told to apply to CCDOH, which I did via email, received a response that they would let me know. In the meantime I went to the am-i-eligible website again and was told that the slots were filled up - try later. Trying again today. A friend managed to make appointments for her mother and father. Meantime in Northern Ireland my brother who is 85 has received his vaccination with no problem whatsoever, very smooth and quick, he said. The US is a mess in more ways than one.

    1. Not "the US," Jennifer, just New York and a few others.

      South Dakota has outstripped everyone for efficiency for opting to use the same distribution system lready in place which they use to distribute all pharmaceuticals.

      New York had to invent new bureaucracies, then attach identity group quotas and draconian penalties.

      While South Dakota was well along finishing the job, in New York officials downstate were discarding the vaccine they couldn't satisfy the quotas to implement.

      That's New York idiocy for you, and why so many people are leaving New York.