De Blasio confident NYC can reach 5M vaccinations by June, appoints new 'Recovery Czar'

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Despite delays caused by inclement weather, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said he is still confident New York City will vaccinate 5 million residents by the end of June.

Weather-related vaccine shortages depleted the city’s supply to fewer than 1,000 doses at one point, but Mayor de Blasio remained confident the city will play catch up using its massive capacity to immunize.

“We could be doing 500,000 vaccinations a week right now and I say, easily if we have the supply. So yes we can hit that goal,” he said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi says the city is expecting a huge supply increased this week.

“We expect all of the shipments that were due to arrive in New York City last week to come to the city, mostly between today and tomorrow and perhaps some on Wednesday as well,” he said. “We also expect the deliveries that were originally slated to arrive for this week to arrive by the end of the week.”

But Chokshi acknowledged that, currently, the city is getting only 170,000 doses per week and that is still too low to do the vaccinations that the city would like to.

He does report, however, that the federal government says there will be modest increases in March and a further increase in April.

Meanwhile, to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor de Blasio on Monday announced appointed Lorraine Grillo as New York City’s “Recovery Czar,” who will work supercharge the mayor’s recovery.

“New York City was hit with an unprecedented health care and economic crisis. Together, we’re taking unprecedented steps to drive a recovery for all of us,” the mayor said. “As New York City’s first-ever Recovery Czar, Lorraine will cut through bureaucracy, coordinate across all agencies, and reach out to non-profit and private partners to make sure our recovery is felt in every borough, every neighborhood, and every block.”

In this new position, the mayor’s office says Grillo will “coordinate across government agencies, non-profits and the private sector to ensure everyone is working together for New York City’s recovery.”

Additionally, when asked whether he accepts Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s explanation of the state’s undercount of COVID nursing home deaths, the mayor was blunt saying, “No I did not accept his explanation. There needs to be a full investigation.”

De Blasio said thousands of lives were lost, and the state needs the whole truth.

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