It was the first shot in weeks that hasn’t threatened his political career.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was publicly vaccinated against COVID-19 on Wednesday following a lovefest at a predominantly black church in Harlem — where an NAACP leader likened him to her own son.
Cuomo received an injection of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church, which he said was among 140 new “pop-up centers” for vaccinations in black and Hispanic communities.
Onlookers shouted “Don’t cry!” as Cuomo pulled up the right sleeve of a white, button-down shirt emblazoned with a state seal to take the shot.
Although Cuomo, 63, became eligible for the vaccine last week, he’d vowed to wait until shots were “available for my group in black, Hispanic, and poor communities around the state.”
Cuomo’s vaccination — which was off-limits to reporters — came amid an impeachment investigation into sexual harassment allegations, the cover-up of nursing home deaths and reported construction flaws on the bridge bearing his late father’s name.
During the event, he was praised by a series of speakers, including Hazel Dukes, the longtime president of the New York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
At one point in her remarks, Dukes said, “Thank you, governor, for all you have done. We stand with you.”
Dukes also referenced their close relationship in an anecdote about a phone conversation.
“Somebody called me and said, ‘I didn’t know you had a white son,’” she said.
“I said, ‘He ain’t white.’”
Before being inoculated, Cuomo said he decided to take Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine — which was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration less than three weeks ago — to “make the point” that New Yorkers should “take whatever vaccine you can get.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been found to be 85 percent effective at preventing severe symptoms COVID-19, which is slightly less than competing versions produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
Wednesday’s news conference — which was attended by about two dozen people — was livestreamed on the governor’s official state website.
But reporters were barred from attending, with the governor’s office citing “COVID restrictions.”
Mount Neboh is the same church where Cuomo, a Catholic, publicly joked in 2018 that Jews can’t dance.
“Catholics believe the same teachings that Baptists believe,” he said at the time.
“We just do it without the rhythm. But we try. We are not as without rhythm as some of our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
Cuomo also cracked wise about watching political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, an Orthodox rabbi, being “in the front row, moving to the music.”
“It was ugly, I’ll tell you the truth,” the governor said.