Pennacchio: Don’t Follow New York’s Latest COVID Policies

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Developing a vaccine could take a year or more, and hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat and prevent COVID-19 right now, Senator Pennacchio said

MORRIS COUNTY — With dueling daily press conferences, state governors in the region seem to be in competition for the top sound bites of the news cycle, and Senator Joe Pennacchio worries about its effect on public health policy during the coronavirus crisis.

Recently, New York’s Governor Cuomo declared he was “prepared to have New York used as a ‘laboratory’ for testing any possible vaccines.”

“Cuomo has become a media darling with salacious remarks that raise eyebrows and earn national press,” said Senator Pennacchio (R-26). “Offering up his residents as medical guinea pigs raises eyebrows, but does nothing for the immediate health concerns of those who are suffering in New York City and elsewhere. Solid leadership in times of crisis requires sensible, decisive and actionable solutions.”

The Senator noted that Cuomo, in New York, like New Jersey, refuses to approve the early treatment of COVID-19 with off-label use of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc, a regimen that has been effective across the globe.

“Scientists tell us a coronavirus vaccine isn’t likely for another 12 to 18 months,” Senator Pennacchio said. “It makes no sense to open a state as a test tube, yet force sick people to wait for safe, effective medication until the virus has consumed them and landed them in the hospital. Hopefully, New Jersey will not follow Cuomo’s lead.

“These governors are not doctors. Unshackle our doctors. Let them use the tools they have to fight this pandemic. Disallowing an early treatment with hydroxychloroquine while promoting a non-existent vaccine once again shows how very little sense this public health policy has,” concluded Senator Pennacchio.