- Rich Klein
CUOMO TO SIGN EXECUTIVE ORDER TODAY TO COMBAT FRAUD WITH VACCINES
HEALTH COMMISSIONER ALLEGES THAT PARCARE FRAUDULENTLY TOOK POSSESSION OF VACCINE
ALBANY - Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he will sign an executive order today that would revoke the New York State medical licenses of any healthcare professional - and mete out fines of up to $1 million - on any provider that wrongfully receives and administers the Covid-19 vaccine in violation of Department of Health orders.
The announcement came on the heels of news from Saturday that ParCare Community Health Network signed up to receive 2,300 doses but made it available to the general public instead of limiting it to front-line healthcare employees. The company has not denied that it made the vaccine available to the general population. (ParCare CEO Gary Schlesinger has ties to Sullivan County).
"While New York has begun the process of vaccinating nursing home residents, nursing home staff who regularly interact with patients, and high-risk medical workers, the vaccine will not become widely available to the general public in New York for several more months, " Attorney General Letitia James said in a separate news release today warning about vaccine scams.
Cuomo said that a preliminary investigation of ParCare is underway by the New York State Police and that will be turned over to James' office for possible criminal prosecution.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, with Cuomo at his Albany news conference, said:
"We provided the vaccine because they (ParCare) fraudulently filled out a form that said they were a qualified health center, that's strike 1, and then they moved it to another area (from Brooklyn to Orange County), that's strike 2, and they gave it to people who were not on the priority list, that was strike three. "
Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa added that falsifying business records is a crime as well.
"We want to send a clear signal to the providers that if you violate the law on these vaccinations, we will find out and you will be prosecuted," Cuomo said. "We will not tolerate any fraud in the vaccination process." He added that the public should expect fraud "when you have a valuable commodity."