Trump, in tiff with Cuomo: All states will get vaccine soon — except New York
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — President Donald Trump said Friday that the coronavirus vaccine being created under his Operation Warp Speed initiative will be delivered “within weeks” to all states, except New York.
During an update on the status of the COVID-10 battle in the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump slammed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in explaining his reasoning for holding back the vaccine from the Empire State’s 19.5 million residents.
Trump and the Democratic governor have exchanged barbs over their responses to the coronavirus pandemic since it started this year.
“I believe all across the country you’re going to need someone other than this FDA and this CDC saying it’s safe,” Cuomo said last month on “Good Morning America.”
Friday, Trump accused Cuomo of having “political reasons” for not wanting to accept the coronavirus vaccine until it is evaluated. Therefore, the president said, the federal government would not send the vaccine to New York until Cuomo “authorizes” it to do so.
“As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of places like New York State where for political reasons the governor decided to say — and I don’t think it’s good politically, I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint — but he wants to take his time with a vaccine,” Trump said.
During an interview this week, Cuomo criticized the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout as “flawed.”
“We can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way that Trump and his administration is designing it,” Cuomo said then.
Trump’s countered the comment Friday in the Rose Garden, saying, “He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from. These are coming from the greatest companies anywhere in the world, greatest labs in the world, but he doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so — and that pains me to say that.”
Shortly after the president spoke at the news conference and declined to answer reporters’ questions, Cuomo addressed the issue during an interview on MSNBC.
Cuomo defended his decision to establish an independent review panel to analyze vaccine data.
“It is a way to build confidence in people,” Cuomo said.
“It is not New York issue. Seven states have a review panel because a majority of Americans say it has been a politicized process.”
The independent panel would review vaccine data simultaneously, he said.
“As soon as the Trump administration delivers me a dose, we would be prepared to administer it,” Cuomo said, adding that New York residents would not be delayed in receiving the vaccine if it achieved proper approval.
Trump said a majority of the public could receive the vaccine, which requires two doses, by April.
That news came just days after Pfizer announced its vaccine developed with German drugmaker BioNTech was 90 per cent effective in a late-stage trial. Pfizer is expected to seek emergency authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration within weeks.
The United States has recorded 10.6 million coronavirus cases and more than 243,000 deaths because of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.