Columnist Ross Barkan discusses the slow vaccination process in the state of New York

Columnist at The Guardian Ross Barkan appeared on Hill.TV’s “Rising” Monday to discuss the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in New York, criticizing the process that has been laid out by Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoDOJ investigating sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo Briahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal Chris Cuomo: Suspension from CNN 'embarrassing' MORE (D).

“Andrew Cuomo, like governors in other states. had set up these very onerous guidelines for who could get a vaccine. We have been really making a lot of mistakes and making it harder, not easier, to vaccinate people,” said Barkan.

“So under an extreme amount of pressure from [New York City] Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioOvernight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Biden's winter COVID-19 strategy Five omicron cases detected in New York Third US omicron case detected in Colorado MORE, from a lot of elected officials, public health experts Cuomo finally on Friday relented and allowed people over 75 and over to sign up for the vaccine.”

De Blasio announced last week that the city would be expanding vaccine eligibility to include a wider range of professionals including dentists, physical therapists and testing site workers.

“New York was not a leader in the vaccination push, and we are now somewhere in the middle,” Barkan stated. “And since so many people die here, 38,000 plus, we really have to be at the forefront if we really want to beat this pandemic and restore some level of normalcy.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 580,000 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. More than 1.4 million doses have been distributed.