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Timothy Bolger

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.

Freeport Man Facing Charges in Capitol Riot

Investigators cited this selfie of Thomas Fee of Freeport in charging him with storming the U.S. Capitol. (U.S. Department of Justice photo)

A Freeport man is facing federal charges for allegedly joining President Donald Trump supporters in storming the U.S. Capitol during a deadly riot two weeks ago, according to court documents.

Thomas Fee, a retired member of the New York Fire Department, has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds, but has not yet been arrested. Investigators cited interviews with witnesses, travel records, text messages, and videos posted on social media as evidence in the case.

He was at “the tip of the spear,” Fee texted a witness from inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, authorities allege in court documents.

Fee was among thousands who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to block Congress from certifying Democrat Biden’s victory over Republican President Donald Trump, according to charging documents.

Federal authorities have brought criminal charges against more than 100 people so far in connection with the riot, in which Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, ransacked offices and attacked police. Investigators are scouring more than 140,000 videos and photos from the siege in which five people died, including a police officer.

Law enforcement officials have been bracing for further violence. More than a dozen states activated National Guard troops following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations by right-wing extremists. But by late Sunday afternoon, only handfuls of demonstrators had taken to the streets. Attorney information for Fee was not immediately available. 

The FDNY said Fee retired in October after 22 years with the department. Department leaders had received anonymous allegations that active or retired members were present at the events at the U.S. Capitol and, as required, has provided that information to the FBI, officials said.

-With Reuters

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10 Trump Scandals With Long Island Ties

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

President Donald Trump, the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice, packed a lot of controversies into his one term in office — and quite a few messes involved Long Islanders. Here’s 10.

MERCER-LESS

An investigator from Britain’s Information Commissioners Office, is seen inside the building which houses the offices of Cambridge Analytica as investigators from the data watchdog entered after a British High Court judge granted a search warrant, in London, Britain March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Key to helping Trump get elected was reclusive billionaire political mega-donor, former co-CEO of Setauket-based hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, and Head of The Harbor resident Robert Mercer. He co-founded Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm that abused Facebook data to help Trump’s 2016 campaign. 

MANAFORT PARDONED

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, exits the courtroom after his arraignment in New York Supreme Court in New York, U.S., June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and witness tampering in 2018 as part of the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, forfeited his $2 million Bridgehampton mansion before being sentenced to 7 1/2 years in federal prison. Trump pardoned Manafort last month, sparing the long-time Republican operative from serving the bulk of his prison term.

SPICER’S SOLILOQY

A combination of photos taken at the National Mall shows the crowds attending the inauguration ceremonies to swear in U.S. President Donald Trump (L) on January 20, 2017 and President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, in Washington DC, U.S.. Picture taken January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (L), Stelios Varias/File Photo

Trump’s first White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, who infamously started his first day on the job by stating that the president’s inauguration was the most-attended presidential swearing-in ceremony ever, despite photos proving the contrary, was born in Manhasset. Providing the crowd photos in question was then-acting director of the National Park Service Michael Reynolds, a former Fire Island National Seashore superintendent.

BAT MNUCHIN 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrives to testify during a hearing on “Examination of Loans to Businesses Critical to Maintaining National Security” before the Congressional Oversight Commission at Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington, U.S., December 10, 2020. Sarah Silbiger/Pool via REUTERS

The Trump administration’s many ethical violations are well documented. Among the conflicts of interest was Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has a house in Southampton, telling Axios in 2017, “I’m not allowed to promote anything that I’m involved in, but you should send all your kids to LEGO Batman.” His company financed the film. He later acknowledged, “I should not have made that statement.”

LEGAL EAGLE

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump spoke at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Friday, July 28, 2017.

When Trump visited the Suffolk County police academy in 2017, the department rebuffed the president when he encouraged officers to rough up suspects. “When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head…you can take the hand away, okay?” Trump told officers. “The SCPD has strict rules & procedures relating to the handling of prisoners,” the agency tweeted shortly after the speech. “Violations of those rules are treated extremely seriously.”

THE MOOCH

White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, flanked by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, speaks at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Anthony Scaramucci, who was White House spokesman for 11 days in 2017 — tying for the shortest tenure in that title — was raised in Port Washington. He was fired days after he was quoted bashing Trump administration officials in a The New Yorker story based on an interview he said he thought was off the record. He’s since become an outspoken Trump critic.

TIMES PROBES TRUMP’S TAXES

Mike Hisey dressed as U.S. President Donald Trump in a prison jumpsuit reads the New York Times in front of the New York Times office in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

After the president refused to release his tax returns, breaking decades of precedent, The New York Times exposed in 2018 the president’s role in an allegedly fraudulent tax scheme, which involved several properties on LI. The newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation detailed how Trump squandered hundreds of millions of dollars he inherited from his father, countering the president’s well-worn claim of building his empire from a $1 million loan. 

SOMETHING ABOUT MARY

Simon & Schuster moved up the release date for Mary Trump’s book from July 28 to July 14 due to high demand.

Mary Trump, President Donald Trump’s niece from Rockville Centre, later revealed she was the source of the tax documents used in the Times‘ investigation when she published a scathing tell-all book about her uncle. The book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, marked the first time one of his family members aired his dirty laundry. Mary later backed up the sourcing for her book by releasing recordings of Trump’s sister, former federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, calling the president a cruel, phony liar with “no principles.”

COHEN FLIPS

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives at his Manhattan apartment after being released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence under home confinement in New York City, New York U.S. July 24, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The president’s former personal attorney, Lawrence native Michael Cohen, who was released early from federal prison last year due to coronavirus concerns, had pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud for, among other things, paying hush money to porn stars with whom Trump allegedly had affairs. In September, he also published the tell-all Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. He now hosts a podcast dedicated to analyzing Trump’s latest antics.

WAVE OF RESIGNATIONS

Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation speaks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 (GES 2019) in The Hague, Netherlands June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, a Syosset High School graduate, announced her resignation last week, the first Cabinet member to join a list of Trump administration officials administration who are leaving in protest at the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters. Chao, the wife of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said in an email to staff that the deadly mob attack “has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

-With Reuters

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Long Island Leaders Push For Better Covid-19 Vaccine Access

vaccine access
Getty Images

More than a dozen East End lawmakers sent a joint letter Thursday to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanding that the coronavirus vaccine be made more accessible to Twin Forks residents.

All five East End town supervisors, a majority of the area’s village mayors, and all three New York State legislators that represent the Hamptons and the North Fork signed the letter, which detailed the officials’ grievances about Covid-19 vaccine availability.

“The vaccine distribution on the East End, with the new, expanded eligibility categories, is virtually non-existent,” the letter stated. “Our residents, particularly senior citizens, cannot be expected to drive an hour or more to places such as Brentwood, Jones Beach, or Stony Brook, to get the vaccine. While we have submitted many locations in our communities for consideration for the distribution of the vaccine, those suggestions have been ignored.

“We must recognize that at this time, there is not enough vaccine available to meet the demand,” the letter continued. “However, when that vaccine becomes available, the East End must get its fair share. We want to be part of your solution. Our request is simple; work with us now to establish a network of distribution sites across the East End to provide for the convenient distribution of the vaccine to our mutual constituents, as it becomes available. Time is of the essence.”

Derek Poppe, a spokesman for Bellone, agreed that supply remains an issue.

“Suffolk County has actionable plans and the infrastructure already in place to administer at least 10,000 vaccinations a week, the only impediment right now is the current available supply,” he said. “In addition to the vaccine POD in Brentwood, we have identified locations across the county and already have agreements in place to quickly stand up PODs at Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman Campus and Eastern Campus once the vaccines become available. Just as we worked with all of our partners to stand up testing sites where needed, we will continue to ensure our residents from every corner of the county have access to vaccination sites.”

SCCC’s Ammerman Campus is in Selden and its Eastern Campus is in Riverhead.
The governor’s office did not response to a request for comment on the letter. Cuomo has asked New Yorkers for “patience at an impatient time” as the state waits for increases in vaccine allocations from the federal government to meet high demand.

Wading River resident Dino DiIorio said he and his family have spent many hours trying to get a vaccination appointment for his mother, 83-year-old Helena DiIorio, who has a rare, severe lung infection. Helena’s medical specialists agree she should be “top of the list” for the vaccine, Dino said. However, individual doctors cannot decide this, and Dino has repeatedly been told to register Helena through an online form. So far, all appointments have been taken.

“It is vital that she does not contract Covid-19 because she would not be able to survive it,” Dino said. “She needs this vaccine. But those 75 or older with medical conditions are now competing with hundreds of people 65 and older, and you can’t get these appointments.”

-With Briana Bonfiglio

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How Long Island’s Congressional Reps Voted in Impeachment Debate

National Guard members walk in front of the U.S. Capitol after the House voted to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Long Island’s five-member congressional delegation voted along party lines during the unprecedented second impeachment Wednesday of President Donald Trump for inciting a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol.

The three Democrats who represent the Island voted to impeach the president and the two Republican congressmen from LI voted against the measure charging Trump with inciting an insurrection in last week’s violent rampage in the Capitol that left five dead, including a police officer.

“While I fully condemn the domestic terrorists that stormed the Capitol last Wednesday, and I believe the President bears some responsibility, I ultimately cannot and will not vote to impeach,” U.S. Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bay Shore) said. “Last week, I upheld my Constitutional duty to count and certify the results of the presidential election. Which is why today, I am abiding by the Constitution and voting against this rushed impeachment.”

Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, as 10 of his fellow Republicans joined Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment. The vote in the Democratic-controlled House was 232-197, although it appeared unlikely the swift impeachment would lead to Trump’s ouster before his four-year term ends and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

While Garbarino last week broke rank with the majority of Republicans in the House who voted against certifying Biden’s win shortly after a mob of Trump supporters unleashed a deadly rampage in the halls of Congress, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who was among Trump’s top defenders during the first impeachment, stood by the president.

“Democrats just threw more fuel on the fire by ramming through score settling, hastily drafted articles of impeachment just a week before the inauguration,” Zeldin tweeted. “I voted NO on this latest push that will only serve to divide our nation further.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said impeaching Trump was necessary after the president riled up his supporters before they vandalized the Capitol, halting the vote certifying Biden’s electoral college win.

“President Trump instigated this and must be held accountable,” Suozzi said. “The president’s duty is to protect our republic and its people. Yet, he built a mob, filled it with lies, and encouraged it to ‘fight to stop the steal.’”

Echoing the sentiment was U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City).

“President Trump betrayed his oath to the Constitution by inciting a deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol last week,” Rice said. “If we do not hold the president accountable for this act of sedition, it would set a dangerous precedent and pose a lethal threat to the future of democracy in this country.”

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), whose district includes part of southwestern Nassau County, emphasized that the nation’s standing in the world as a beacon of democracy is at stake.

“The world is watching,” he said, “and we must show them that no one will rule this country and be above the law.”

In a video statement released after the House’s action on Wednesday, Trump did not mention the impeachment vote and took no responsibility for his remarks to supporters last week, but condemned the violence.

“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” Trump said. “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law and order.”

No U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. Three  Trump in 2019, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868 previously were impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.

Under the U.S. Constitution, impeachment in the House triggers a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds majority would be needed to convict and remove Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member chamber would have to join the Democrats.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said no trial could begin until the Senate was scheduled to be back in regular session next Tuesday, one day before Biden’s inauguration. The trial would proceed in the Senate even after Trump leaves office.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), set to become majority leader later this month, said in a statement that no matter the timing, “there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.”

Biden said work on the economy, getting the coronavirus vaccine program on track and confirming crucial Cabinet posts should not be delayed by the Senate trial.

“I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation,” he said in a statement.

The Capitol siege raised concerns about political violence in the United States once considered all but unthinkable. The FBI has warned of armed protests planned for Washington and all 50 U.S. state capitals ahead of Biden’s inauguration.

-With Reuters

Related Story: Dems Petition for Zeldin’s Resignation After Biden Vote

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2 More Wind Farms Coming Off Long Island Coast, Cuomo Says

The Deepwater Windfarm, 12 miles east off the coast of Montauk Point and 2 miles south of Block Island, R.I. as seen in 2016. Photo Credit: AllislandAerial.com/Kevin P. Coughlin

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed Wednesday two more offshore wind farms off the coast of Long Island as part of a broad increase in renewable energy planned across New York State.

One will be located more than 20 miles off Jones Beach, the other will be more than 60 miles off Montauk Point, and each will have more than 90 turbines for a combined output of about 2,500 megawatts, the governor said.

“Don’t worry, neither will be visible from the shore,” Cuomo said Wednesday in part three of his four-part State of The State address, which was broken up into chunks this year.

He called it the largest production of renewable energy by any state in U.S. history.

The transmission line for the turbines off Jones Beach will connect on land at Oceanside and the line for the Montauk wind farm will travel 200 miles under the Long Island Sound to Astoria, Queens.

The state previously started on the 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind Project, located east of Long Island and the 816-megawatt Empire Wind Project, located 14 miles southeast of Manhattan.

To support the effort, Cuomo also announced the state is investing $20 million in a new Offshore Wind Training Institute at SUNY Stony Brook and Farmingdale State College that will begin certifying and training individuals this year.

“We will train 2,500 workers beginning in the summer of 2021,” he said. “But we won’t only be training for wind and solar projects. The evolution to green energy will involve replacing home heating and cooling systems in approximately 130,000 buildings with heat pumps and geothermal heating. We will train workers for those positions also.”

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Covid-19 UK Strain Cases Increase to 4 on Long Island

The number of cases of the more contagious UK strain of Covid-19 found on Long Island has increased to four, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

Four days after the governor announced the first such variant of the coronavirus was found in Nassau County and a week after the first such case in the state was confirmed in Saratoga, Cuomo said a cluster of cases on the Island includes a second case in Nassau, two cases in Suffolk County, and one in Queens.

“We’re dealing with high numbers of COVID cases across the state as we move through the dark days of winter, and although I understand COVID fatigue has set in, we need New Yorkers to remember that we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Cuomo said.

The state has now confirmed 15 cases of the variant. The rest are part of a cluster upstate and one is in Manhattan, unconnected to the two clusters. LI’s first case was found to be in Massapequa.

The development comes after the number of overall coronavirus cases on Long Island recently doubled from 100,000 to more than 200,000 in about two months.

The new variant has been found to spread more rapidly, but is not believed to be any more deadly. But Cuomo has said it could be a “game changer” if the new strain increases hospitalizations and forces regions to close down.

The variant, which has been analysed as having a greater transmission rate, has been cited by the British government as the main reason for a flare-up in COVID-19 cases in the UK over the past month.

-With Reuters

Related Story: Long Island Covid-19 Cases Double to 200,000 in 2 Months

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NYPD Cop from Long Island Retires Amid Probe Into Racist Posts

A formerly high-ranking New York City police officer from Long Island who was accused of anonymously posting racist rants online has retired after reportedly being suspended for 30 days without pay.

Deputy inspector James Francis Kobel, a 30-year veteran who was serving as commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) within the department’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, was previously transferred to the transit bureau while subject of an internal investigation.

“Deputy Inspector Kobel is entitled to due process as is anyone,” said Det. Sophia Mason, an NYPD spokeswoman who confirmed that he retired. “These allegations will go through the disciplinary process. We will not comment while these proceedings are ongoing.”

WNBC-TV New York reported that Kobel was suspended shortly before he retired. He was initially placed on modified duty amid an ongoing internal affairs probe. The allegations, which were first reported by The New York Timeswere later detailed in a City Council investigative report in November. The Times reported Monday that the NYPD has concluded Kobel was behind the posts.

Kobel allegedly used the pseudonym “Clouseau” to post more than 500 times on the board, known as “Law Enforcement Rant,” between July of last year and September of this year. Among the many examples, he allegedly described Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark as a “gap-tooth wildebeest” and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, also of the Bronx, as a “savage.” Kobel also allegedly said two women on the police force were “gutter sl*ts” and “f**king animals” and “savages.”

U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), who led the city council probe before being elected to Congress, said the probe shouldn’t stop with Kobel.

“James Kobel, who should have been fired back in November, is the tip of the iceberg, Torres tweeted. “There are untold numbers of officers lurking on these online message boards, trafficking in the vilest forms of bigotry.”

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Dems Petition for Zeldin’s Resignation After Biden Vote

U.S. Rep. Lee Zelzin (R-Shirly) and the rest of the Long Island congressional delegation held a news conference on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Photo by Amanda De Lauzon)

Democrats urged U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) to resign because he opposed certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win after President Donald Trump supporters rioted in the U.S. Capitol Building, leaving five dead.

Jay Jacobs, who chairs the New York State and Nassau County Democratic committees, is circulating a petition calling for the resignation of Zeldin, who represents the East End, and three other members of Congress from New York who also voted this week against certifying the Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump.

“These four have spent weeks and months delegitimizing our electoral process thereby undermining our faith in our democratic institutions,” Jacobs said in an email Friday with a link to the online petition. “We saw the grave consequences of supporting such divisive and false claims…After supporting these lies against our democracy by a narcissistic authoritarian in the White House who wanted to cling to power, they must resign.”

Congress formally certified Biden’s election victory early on Thursday, after authorities cleared the Capitol of Trump supporters who stormed the halls of Congress and killed a police officer. More than half of House Republicans and eight Republican senators voted to challenge the election results, backing Trump.

“Anyone who wants to call on a Congressional Republican to resign for supporting an objection on January 6th needs to put up their past statements calling for the resignation of every Congressional Democrat who objected in the past, which has now happened at the same date and place as part of the same Constitutional process every single time a Republican presidential candidate has won over the past generation,” said Katie Vincentz, a spokeswoman for Zeldin. “If those public calls for resignations don’t exist, the call for the Congressional Republican to resign now is clearly coming from just another political hack.”

New York State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy blasted Jacobs.

“Our wounds are deep, but political opportunism isn’t helping anyone,” Langworthy said. “New Yorkers demand better. Stop the games and try to live up to their expectations.”

The three other members of New York’s congressional delegation that voted against certifying Biden’s Electoral College votes were U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo), U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island), and U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Saratoga County). Voting to certify Biden’s win were the four other members of Long Island’s congressional delegation: U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), and U.S. Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bay Shore).

Garbarino, the only other Republican LI congressman who was just sworn in to his first term days before the riot, questioned how elections officials made new rules to help voters cast ballots to avoid catching coronavirus during the pandemic, but stopped short of declining to certify Biden’s votes.

“The role of Congress is not to overturn the election or to take actions that silence voters, he said. “The Constitution is clear, the votes must be counted and certified by the states and Congress has the constitutional obligation to accept those electors and certify each states’ elections.”

Zeldin, who was among Trump’s top defenders during the outgoing president’s impeachment hearings, issued a statement calling for unity after voting against certifying Biden’s win.

“Moving forward, there will be continued debate and there will be disagreement, but out of that must be a healthy, guarded and even thriving republic,” he said. “Right now, I am not going to dwell on any doubt, but to recommit to working towards a vigorous defense of lady liberty at all costs, and the pursuit of unity whenever possible.”

This story first appeared on danspapers.com

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First Case of Covid-19 UK Strain Confirmed on Long Island

A medical technician works at a drive-thru coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility at the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals company in New York on September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

New York State health officials have confirmed the first patient on Long Island to have contracted the even more contagious strain of Covid-19 first found in the United Kingdom.

State Department of Health officials found a UK strain case in Nassau County that was among three new cases of the strain confirmed statewide. Two appear to be tied to the recent discovery of the first case of it in Saratoga in upstate New York, but the Nassau case is unrelated.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters of the new cases Saturday during his latest pandemic news briefing.

The development comes after the number of cases on Long Island recently doubled from 100,000 to 200,000 in about two months.

The governor has said the new strain is raising concerns about threats to hospital capacity should it spread rapidly in the state.

Cuomo said on Monday that a man in his 60s living in a town north of Albany has the new strain. The man, who is recovering, had not traveled recently, suggesting community spread is taking place.

New York has carried out thousands of tests for the new strain. Cuomo has said it could be a “game changer” if the new strain increases hospitalizations and forces regions to close down.

With Reuters 

Related Story: Long Island Covid-19 Cases Double to 200,000 in 2 Months

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Long Island Covid-19 Cases Double to 200,000 in 2 Months

Blood sample tube positive with COVID-19 or novel coronavirus 2019 found in Wuhan, China

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases on Long Island has doubled to more than 200,000 in slightly more than two month’s time, New York State health data shows.

Nassau County has 96,112 diagnosed Covid-19 cases and Suffolk County has 106,061 for a total of 202,173 for the region as of Tuesday, according to the state Department of Health. The number of cases on LI had crossed the 100,000 mark on Nov. 1, nine months after the first case was confirmed in the region.

“In 31 days we saw the highest number of new cases since the beginning of this crisis and suffered 100 more deaths than we experienced in the prior six months combined,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “With distribution of the vaccine underway, the goal line is in sight but we must remain vigilant in the weeks and months ahead.”

New York State recently tallied more than 1 million cases of the virus, which is also double what it had about two months ago. As of Wednesday, there were 1,057,676 cases in the Empire State, 21 million nationwide, and 86 million worldwide.

The infection rate on the Island was 9.6 percent as of Monday and the statewide rate is 7.9 percent, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Also as of Tuesday, Covid-19 cases in which patients died rose to 10,965 in New York State, 360,693 nationwide, and 1.8 million worldwide. Those included 4,833 on LI: 2,445 in Nassau, and 2,388 in Suffolk.

The rise in cases comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had administered 5,306,797 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning and distributed 17,288,950 doses.

The tally of vaccine doses distributed and the number of people who received the first dose are for both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, vaccines as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, the agency said.

According to the tally posted on Jan. 5, the agency had administered 4,836,469 first doses of the vaccines and distributed 17,020,575 doses.

A total of 3,416,875 vaccine doses were distributed for use in long-term care facilities and 511,635 people in the facilities got their first dose, the agency said.

-With Reuters

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