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They want to check in — for a vaccine.

The hotel industry is urging Gov.

Andrew Cuomo to designate its staffers as crucial front-line workers so they can be vaccinated against COVID-19.

More than 400 members of the Hotel Trades Council died after getting infected with COVID-19, and union sources claim many employees contracted the killer virus on the job.

Hotel workers are at risk because the facilities that remain open have been used to house recovering COVID-19 patients, people in quarantine and homeless individuals, the advocates argue.

“Hotel workers are essential workers who have been working on the frontlines throughout this pandemic. They’ve been serving high-risk populations like quarantining travelers and COVID-exposed and other high-risk populations,” said Hotel Trades Council President Rich Maroko.

“Over 400 of them have died and thousands more have been sickened, including dozens who have been sickened in just the past few weeks of this year. Hotel workers deserve to be protected as they continue to perform their essential functions.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week updated its vaccine guidance to add workers of “Traveler Accommodation” for Phase 1C eligibility.

New York technically remains in 1B of its own eligibility categories, but has already updated that to include others listed in the CDC’s 1C group — including taxi drivers.

Hotel industry insiders note that 80 percent Hotel Trades Council workers are people of color who are deemed at a higher risk to catching COVID-19.

Vijay Dandapani, president of the Hotel Association of New York City, said industry executives have also been pushing Albany to give the green light to vaccinate their staffers.

“We are absolutely in favor of hotel workers receiving COVID vaccines as essential workers, and we have raised the issue with government,” Dandapani said.

Cuomo’s office indicated it was open to the request.

“We are working our way through our current universe of eligible New Yorkers and are examining next steps in the event that federal vaccine supply increases,” said Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor.

Currently, Empire State residents age 65 and older are eligible to get inoculated along with individuals with underlying medical issues.

Front-line or essential workers also already eligible for vaccination include police, fire and ambulance workers, teachers, restaurant workers, court officers, prison and parole officers, transit and airport workers, funeral workers, health care workers and staff and residents of nursing homes.

Filed under andrew cuomo ,  Coronavirus ,  Coronavirus in NY ,  COVID vaccine ,  hotels ,  2/23/21

News Source: New York Post

Tags: search covid vaccine andrew cuomo coronavirus in ny covid vaccine hotels hotel workers essential workers hotel industry hotel industry who have been hotel workers covid vaccine the hotel

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China Says Will Deter Taiwan Independence but Seek Peaceful Ties

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will resolutely deter any separatist activity seeking Taiwan's independence but is committed to promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China's "reunification", Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.

China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, has increased its military activity near the island in recent months, responding to what it calls "collusion" between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan's main international backer and arms supplier.

Speaking at the opening of the annual meeting of China's parliament, Li said Beijing stands by the "one China" principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China.

China remains committed "to promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China's reunification", he told the roughly 3,000 delegates at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

"We will remain highly vigilant against and resolutely deter any separatist activity seeking Taiwan independence," Li added.

"We will promote exchanges, cooperation and integrated development across the Taiwan Strait. Together we can shape a bright future of rejuvenation for our great nation."

Most Taiwanese people have shown no interest in being ruled by autocratic China, and have also strongly supported anti-government protests in Chinese-run Hong Kong.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected by a landslide last year on a promise of defending the island's democracy and standing up to China.

China believes Tsai wishes to push for Taiwan's formal independence, a red line for the Chinese government which has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under Beijing's control.

Tsai says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name.

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

Tags: Taiwan, United States, Asia

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