Lieutenant governor on keeping NY safe against COVID: ‘All options are on the table’


NEW YORK – New York State is fighting COVID on all fronts with support of the Biden administration. 

Expanded testing sites are just the beginning as the MTA is also stepping in to provide free booster shots at three busy train stations. 

Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin spoke with the PIX11 Morning News to highlight some of the other steps the state is taking to keep New Yorkers safe.

President Joe Biden has been in touch with Gov. Kathy Hochul and her administration with his plans on tackling the omicron variant.

According to Benjamin, seven more testing sites will open across the state under the federal government. He added that Mayor Bill de Blasio announced another 23 testing sites would open in New York City alone.

The lieutenant governor added that the state is creating a portal where people can go online and order the at-home COVID tests the president promised.

Benjamin also said they expect about 30 medical teams the president has offered by early January.

The state will also be opening a new FEMA site. Benjamin could not disclose the location, but said it will be operational before Christmas.

When asked if the state is looking at possibly using the Jacob K. Javits Center as a mass testing site, the lieutenant governor said “All options are on the table.”

The focus is on how the state is going to manage COVID as Benjamin said COVID “is going to be with us for a while.”

He said he’ll be making stops across the state to encourage many others to get vaccinated and boosted.

“If you don’t get vaccinated you are putting your life at risk,” he added.

When asked if there will be new mandates, Benjamin said everything is on the table, but they will work with communities that have been resistant in getting inoculated.

“We have to fight that fight,” he said. “You can’t mandate that through.”

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