Meanwhile, it buried the vaccine scandal right under its nose on an inside page: New York State medical providers having to throw out vaccine doses because they can’t find enough patients to fit the state’s overzealous guidelines issued by Cuomo. That disgrace was relegated to Page 6 of Monday’s paper: “Vaccine Rules Are Loosened A 2nd Time to Inhibit Waste.” Cuomo was hardly mentioned, must less blamed.
On the front page, reporters Patricia Mazzei, Eric Adelson, and Kate Kelly rounded up some sad anecdotes from the Sunshine State (a common and unfair media target in the Covid era) in “A Snaking Line to No Vaccine: Florida’s Big Rollout Sputters.”
Linda Kleindienst Bruns registered for a coronavirus vaccine in late December, on the first day the health department in Tallahassee, Fla., opened for applications for people her age. Despite being 72, with her immune system suppressed by medication that keeps her breast cancer in remission, she spent days waiting to hear back about an appointment.
“It’s so disorganized,” she said. “I was hoping the system would be set up so there would be some sort of logic to it.”
Florida is in an alarming new upward spiral, with nearly 20,000 cases of the virus reported on Friday and more than 15,000 on Saturday. But the state’s well-intended effort to throw open the doors of the vaccine program to everyone 65 and older has led to long lines, confusion and disappointment.
….Florida, which has already prioritized a large swath of its population to receive the vaccine, illustrates the challenges of expanding a vaccination program being developed at record speed and with limited federal assistance.
The paper is loath to give Trump-supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis credit for anything, even though Florida has performed a successful balancing act, keeping cases and deaths in line with the national average despite a population tilted toward senior citizens, and keeping the state economy afloat amid the challenge of the state’s tilt toward tourism.
Experts say Florida is an example of what happens when officials attempt to distribute a vaccine that is still in very limited supply to a broad spectrum of the population. In a state with about 4.4 million people 65 and older, more than 402,000 doses had been administered as of Friday, according to federal data, the fourth-highest total in the nation. But Florida has used only about 30 percent of the vaccine doses it has received, behind 29 other states.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has acknowledged that the initial rollout has been bumpy.
But he has steadfastly defended the state’s decision to open the door to all seniors, saying he could not in good conscience see a 20-something who bags groceries getting vaccinated before a grandparent, not in a state where of the more than 22,000 people killed by the coronavirus, 83 percent have been 65 or older.
The paper displayed its odd fairness-over-everything-else obsession:
Some hospitals in Miami have vaccinated board members as well, according to local doctors and patients.
One of them, Rosario Rico Toro, posted news of receiving the Pfizer vaccine to Facebook friends on Dec. 30. “Baptist vaccination day!!” she wrote alongside an image of her Covid-19 vaccination record.
In an interview, Ms. Rico Toro, a onetime Miss Bolivia who now does charitable work for hospitals, said she had received the vaccine as a result of her donations and volunteer work for Baptist Hospital in Miami. When one of the hospital’s doctors canceled an appointment to get the shot, the hospital offered her the spot.
Well, better someone get vaccine protection than the vaccine get completely wasted, right? Well, the New York Times doesn’t seem too sure.
Also revealing of the paper’s odd priorities was a Page 4 story criticizing the “privilege on display” in the form of younger people in academic hospitals being vaccinated: “Workers at Elite Medical Centers Are Vaccinated Out of Turn.”
Again, would the Times prefer those vaccines go in the trash than into someone’s arm?