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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a plan that will lead to vaccine doses expiring before they can be used.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a new law that would make it a crime to administer the coronavirus vaccine to anyone who is not eligible under his rollout guidelines. Currently, eligibility is limited to health care workers, first responders, and people living in congregate settings such as nursing homes. That leaves millions of New Yorkers ineligible even as doses go unused and expire.

The boneheaded idiocy of this plan is that if health care facilities do not have enough eligible people to inoculate, they must destroy doses rather than give them to ineligible people. Put more bluntly, facilities that do not allow the doses to expire are subject to criminal penalty as are those vaccinated not in accordance with the plan.

While it makes sense to prioritize certain groups in vaccine administration, to do so at the expense of destroying doses makes absolutely no sense at all. Take a case this past week in Kentucky in which a pharmacist, realizing that the pharmacy’s doses were set to expire, gave them to two customers who were not on the approved list. That sounds like plain good sense, but under Emperor Cuomo’s proposal, it would be a criminal action.

This is inexplicable. Giving the vaccine to those not on a high-priority list still offers protection to the community. These people become broken links in the transmission chain. If they are exposed to the virus, they are not able to transmit it to anyone else. Is this as strong a health benefit as vaccinating health workers and the elderly? No. But it beats the hell out of just letting the doses go to waste.

Cuomo is apparently concerned that there could be a black market for the vaccine, which he described as “like gold to some people.” But the fact of the matter is that many eligible people are choosing not to be vaccinated. This creates a massive opportunity for waste when facilities order or receive more doses than they wind up needing.

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The end of Cuomo’s dictatorial rule under emergency powers depends upon vaccinating a large percentage of New Yorkers, meaning his mishandling of the rollout is prolonging the lockdown and his own emergency powers. This is absolute madness. The first priority here should be to make sure all of the vaccine doses are used. Getting them to the people who need them most has to be a secondary goal given that loosening restrictions on our lives will depend on far more than just inoculating the first wave of those eligible.

This is just another example of bungling from the same governor who put COVID-19-infected patients in nursing homes and has also proposed detaining people against their will if they are suspected of being ill. One almost gets the sense that the governor isn’t quite ready to hand over the power the virus has given him and is willing to put New Yorkers’ lives at risk to keep it. Get the doses in people’s arms, Cuomo. For once in this pandemic, try to actually do the right thing.

David Marcus is the Federalist’s New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.



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Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

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Amajor Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and consorted with Joe Biden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien said Zuberi was “purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding.”

Among the many unsealed court records, Zuberi was seen photographed with Joe Biden and Barack Obama when they were Vice President and President. He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and former presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He took pictures with former Republican Rep. Paul Ryan when he was speaker of the House as well as the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, “I’m OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri responded saying, “Take the money!”

He also attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City in 2016 as well as serving as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

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Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi’s activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

In addition to the money he made, Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a “three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)” for making false statements on a FARA filing as well as tax evasion and illegal contributions to political campaigns. He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers said in a Department of Justice news release.

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Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he flew earlier this week to Mexico with family members, following the emergence of pictures appearing to show him in an airplane cabin and at a check-in counter, as fellow residents to recover from a deadly winter storm.

Cruz said in a statement that he accompanied his daughters on a flight Wednesday night to Mexico because they had the week off with school canceled.

“Wanting to be a good dad,” said Cruz, who also stated he is returning to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

The storms has been connected to at least seven deaths in Texas and knocked out power to as many as 2.5 million residents. The number of residents without electricity as of Thursday morning was down to less than 1 million, officials said.  

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“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz also said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”

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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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