Barclays Center Launches Vaccine Incentive Program with Governor Kathy Hochul and Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin


VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

PICTURES of the event are available on the Governor’s Flickr page.

A quick transcript of the governor’s remarks is available below:

It’s so strange not to see more people here, but hey kids, how are you? Very well? Pretty cool isn’t it? Yes. Yes. I thought so. I thought so, John, first of all, John Abbamondi, I want to thank you for your true leadership, not only as CEO of the Brooklyn Nets, but also for how you’ve really strengthened the whole of the organization. Barclays, the Nets, Liberty, to step up and truly be a community partner during the pandemic.

This place was used for testing, for vaccinations, for a food bank during the worst days of the pandemic, when it was just a really, really tough time. And so you have really proven that you are real leaders in our community. I want to thank you all, so let’s all applaud here.

I am also accompanied by my lieutenant governor, do you know what a lieutenant governor is? It’s OK. I also didn’t know what it was until I became one. It’s OK. It’s like the number two person in all of New York State. We salute Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin. And he’s got a brand new baby at home, so that’s pretty exciting. Isn’t that fun? Left a little baby at home, a little Olivia and his wife, Kathleen and a little girl, Caroline. So we’re glad you were able to take the time, even though things are very exciting at home. We are so lucky to have some of our superstar athletes playing here on this field. We have Brooklyn Nets goaltender / striker Bruce Brown. Let’s give him a round of applause. Betnijah Laney, also New York Liberty goaltender / forward who is one of the Most Improved Players, All-Defensive Team 2020 for the WNBA. Let’s applaud her. And DiDi Richards, also New York Liberty goaltender / forward, one of the stars of the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year.

So we have some very good athletes here. Let’s applaud them thoroughly. Well, today I’m taking my COVID briefing on the road. It’s a lot more exciting than being in the office all the time. And I love to go out and see the children. And I also know this is the first event to be held on your brand new floor. So we all made sure to wear our shoes so I didn’t scratch them. OK. So we are very careful about this. So what I want to do is first highlight what’s going on with the pandemic here in New York State. And one thing I can tell you, my friends, we won’t take our eyes off the ball. We observe what is happening elsewhere in the world. We are seeing the number of cases increase in places like Europe and by the second half of October, more than half of the new cases worldwide were reported in Europe.

What scares me the most is that in a place like Britain half of the new cases are children under the age of 15 because they are not vaccinated, and this dramatic increase is due to that and we see the weather starting to change and more people are going inside. We want to make sure all of our children are safe.

Do you kids want to be safe? Yes you do. Yes you do. So how are we going to keep you safe? You’re going to shoot, right? You are all going to get vaccinated. It must be very cool. Anyone who gets a vaccine really is a superhero to me, and I know you will do it as soon as it is cleared.

So literally today in Washington, DC, our Capitol, there are people gathering in a place called the Center for Disease Control. What is that? They are the ones who will approve the authorization, the approval for children between the ages of 5 and 11 to receive this life-saving vaccine.

So we’re very, very happy that it’s coming soon. We’re getting ready here in New York State. We talked to pediatricians, doctors’ offices, drugstores, drugstores, places that will be able to give it to you, as well as you can get the injections here. Wouldn’t it be cool to do it here? I think so too. I think so too.

And we work with our schools. So far, 60% of all schools in New York City school districts have said they are ready to do the vaccinations on site. So it’s easier for families. Many schools would also communicate directly with parents.

So we were waiting for that. We announced more pop-up sites. What do you think of pop-up sites? It sounds like fun. Is not it ? It kind of pops up and all of a sudden it’s there. I also like this stuff. So we say we’re going to set up 120, we’ve actually set up 146 pop-up sites so it’s a lot easier for families. I would like to thank the Ministry of Health for their excellent work in this regard.

But what happens next? We must work with trusted allies. Do you know what it means? They are your parents, they are your friends, they are your neighbors, they are your teachers. And we need to make it known right now that when this vaccine becomes available, every child is telling their mother or father and guardian. I want to be shot, I want to take my photos to be safe. I don’t want to have to worry about it.

So, kids, it happens. You’ve heard of all the adults who get vaccinated and maybe some of your older siblings like 15-17 is good. But right now, we’re about to learn that everything will be fine for the five to eleven year olds. Anyone, five to eleven here, someone here? OK. Well, what about? And that ? Well, that’s very cool.

So we also want to make sure that people are not lying about the vaccine. We launched something known as the #GetTheVaxFacts campaign to dispel the fact that we’ve already had this verified by a thousand people. Look at the facts. This is what the experts say, the doctors, this is our way out. We must therefore also recruit trusted ambassadors. Who are the trusted ambassadors? In my mind, these are our superstar athletes. The people we admire, the people who do things like play basketball in a way that turns our fans on.

It’s them that I trust. Yes. You’re ready to play basketball, aren’t you? We’re going to shoot a few hoops after. So we launch, we did it with some of our athletes as well. We have our Vax to Win NFL raffle. We gave out tickets to people who were getting vaccinated and they had tickets to the Buffalo Bills, Giants, Jets. We had our players at the press conferences.

So now we’re going to court, and I’m delighted to have our friends from the Brooklyn Nets and the Liberty involved, and make sure we have new motivation. So here’s the business gang. If you get vaccinated, here you go to the Barclay’s Modell website, you can receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets. All you have to do is get shot and you get two tickets to come and watch a game.

Does this sound like a good deal to you? This is a good deal. Let’s applaud this. I like this idea. You can go to a Nets home game or you can select another event there and you can book it in advance.

There are plenty of offers. So I want to make sure everyone knows how excited I am. I am mom. I wish my children aged 5 to 11 received the vaccine, to make sure they were safe. And once again, I have to get the word out. This one is available, very soon. We’ll make sure it’s there for you. And that’s how we can stop having to wear masks at school.

Although they look really good on all of you and you can start going anywhere you want. We can begin to say that this pandemic that you will one day tell your own children about is finally over. To say that I survived the pandemic. I was tough. I got through it and survived because I got my vaccine. This is what I want you to tell all your friends, your family, you are what I call ambassadors, not just these athletes, not just our basketball players, but all of you as kids to start saying everyone, we’re so excited for this.

We can’t wait to finish this because we want to come out and be normal kids again. This is how we do it. New York State is ready. And again, I want to thank the Nets and Liberty and everyone for taking the initiative here. So should this be a slam dunk? Okay, that should be a slam dunk, right? We are going to do it. We’re gonna do a slam dunk here.

Separate announcement, I mean to expand our services we are now making it permanent, that this vaccine is available to all pharmacists. It was only temporary. It was supposed to expire in a few months and we just signed a bill. This is what I do as governor, I sign bills to make sure they are available.

So the message is to take our shot. Let’s go play hoops. Come on kids. I want you to stay here because you are going to meet someone and want to shake their hand when they take the stage. And this is our great Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, shake his hand when he goes upstairs. He’s a really cool guy. He’s a big shooter. “

About Georgia Duvall

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