Former NYS Dem Party head gets vaccinated — in Florida

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It’s all going south.

A former head of New York Democratic Party has already received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine — no thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

John Sullivan, who was co-chairman of the state party in the 1990s, was among the New York snowbirds to become eligible for the shot in Florida before Cuomo opened vaccination sites to senior citizens in the Empire State.

“I got the vaccine down here. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it by now in New York,” Sullivan, 73, told The Post on Sunday.

The former upstate Oswego mayor — who worked for the Cuomo, David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer administrations — is still a legal New York resident but has been subleasing an apartment in St. Petersburg, Fla., since October, making him eligible to receive the shot there.

DeSantis prioritized getting the vaccine to seniors and was one of the first to offer the shot to people over the age of 65.

“I think Florida is a leader in the nation in vaccinating seniors,” said Sullivan, who got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week and is scheduled for his second Feb. 3.

“For as much as I disagree with Gov. DeSantis on other things, allowing senior citizens to get the vaccine right away was the right decision,” Sullivan said. “He was right on. Who’s dying out there? The people 65 and over.”

Sullivan said his old boss, Cuomo, was too slow to help to help the elderly.

“Cuomo’s call to vaccinate seniors came a week later. You know how many people could have been inoculated in a week?” Sullivan said.

Cuomo initially restricted the vaccine to health workers. But after receiving heat, he extended eligibility to residents age 75 and over as well as essential workers, before expanding the criteria a few days later to include everyone age 65 and over.

“Healthcare workers should be a priority to get the vaccine. But are they a priority over the most vulnerable senior population? Probably not,” Sullivan said.

And even though seniors are now eligible for the shot in New York, many of them are hitting a brick wall and can’t schedule appointments because of a supply shortage and disorganized registration system, critics say.

Sullivan said Cuomo showed strong leadership during the beginning of the crisis by providing information and calming a jittery public.

“But as Kenny Rogers said, `You have to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em.’ You have to know when to fold’em and walk away,” Sullivan said, quoting a song by the country crooner.

“Andrew Cuomo can stay too long on the stage and be a micro-manager. There’s the good Andrew and the bad Andrew.”  

Cuomo’s office Sunday defended the state’s decision to offer shots first to healthcare workers.

“Our healthcare heroes carried this state on their backs through 10 months of COVID hell, and prioritizing them ‎was not only the science-based CDC recommendation but was needed to make sure our hospital system doesn’t get overwhelmed in the last leg of this pandemic,” Cuomo spokesman Jack Sterne said.

“We’ll stick with the scientists, and let the politicians and the tabloids deal with the politics — though anyone holding Florida up as a good example of anything during this pandemic needs to have their head examined.” 

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