At the heart of the matter is the question of whether New York could better have prevented the state’s 46,000 deaths, the second-highest total of any US state so far, and whether the decision to discharge recovering residents from hospitals back to nursing homes increased infections among vulnerable elderly residents.
Cuomo defended his administration’s lack of transparency on Monday. He however acknowledged that a “void” of facts allowed misinformation to creep in because data requests were placed on the back burner as health officials dealt with the immediate pandemic crisis. He stressed there was no connection between the nursing home questions and his emergency powers, and that his Covid-19 legal actions are only to protect the public. “These are public health decisions,” he said. “They’re not local political decisions, and they have to be made on a public health basis.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: Are the US winter storms affecting Covid-19 vaccination distribution?
A: Vaccine distribution in states and cities across the US is slowing down because of winter storms that left more than a third of the continental US with below-zero temperatures Monday.
The severe winter weather sparked emergency declarations in at least seven states, including Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
WHO gives green light to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
Ambulance crews report drop in Covid callouts in hard-hit Wales as vaccine rollout gathers pace
The US just saw its lowest Covid-19 daily case count since October
While encouraging, experts warn that the numbers are still high and people should not let their guards down as there could be another surge with new variants circulating. Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending Americans avoid travel if they can, the past weekend saw more than 4 million people flying since Thursday. And while officials are working to get more Americans vaccinated, winter storms are now delaying the process in parts of the country.
ON OUR RADAR
- Eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have made a full recovery after contracting Covid-19 last month.
- Peru’s foreign minister has stepped down amid a furor over government officials secretly being vaccinated even before the country began rolling out doses to health care workers.
- The first Black woman to lead the World Trade Organization says she will prioritize fair trade and equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.
- A study has found that bars and Covid-19 safety rules don’t mix, in spite of government guidance and bar owners implementing safety measures.
- After Black-owned businesses closed at disproportionately high rates last year, civil rights activists and business leaders are asking the Biden administration to include targeted funding for Black entrepreneurs in the next Covid-19 relief package.
As people try to keep warm without power, they run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when using unconventional heat sources such as stoves, grills or generators. Here’s what you need to know and do in order to stay safe and warm during the cold snap.
“Nobody wants to experience any side effects, but I can safely say they shouldn’t cause you alarm or be a reason, by any means, to avoid the vaccine.” — CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta