Cuomo: Trump Lied to New Yorkers About NY Not Wanting Vaccine
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says all Empire State residents can get a COVID-19 vaccine once one is approved.
On Friday, President Donald Trump threatened to withhold a coronavirus vaccine from New York State.
"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 on the vaccine," Trump said. "Gov. Cuomo will have to let us know when he's ready for it. Otherwise, we can't be delivering it to a state that won't be giving it to its people."
Trump was referring to remarks Gov. Cuomo made back in September where Cuomo said doesn't "trust" the federal government when it comes to producing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
"The federal government's response to COVID and the White House's dispute with the FDA raises serious questions about whether or not the vaccine has become politicized," Cuomo said in Septmber. "Frankly, I'm not going to trust the federal government's opinion and I wouldn't recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government's opinion. We're going to put together our own review committee headed by the Department of Health to review the vaccine, and I'm appointing a committee that is going to come up with a vaccine distribution and implementation plan on how we will do it. New York's response to COVID has been a model for this country, and we should also be the model vaccination program for the country."
Cuomo responded to Trump's comments saying the President is lying.
"What the President says doesn't matter. It's not true as usual. What he's going to do in April, he's not going to be here in April, that I said I would not distribute the vaccine, it's not true but it doesn't matter. What does matter is this: there is going to be a vaccine, good news, with Pfizer and some other drug companies, and that is good news and then the next step is we're going to have to distribute that vaccine quickly and fairly and Americans are going to have to trust that vaccine to take it. That matters," Cuomo said on CNN.
Cuomo cited a number of polls that say Americans don't trust a vaccine.
"They fear that Trump politicized the approval process for the vaccine and therefore they don't trust it and no one is going to put a needle in their arm if they don't trust the vaccine," he said.
Cuomo said experts will review any FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine so he can confidently recommend any vaccine to New Yorkers, adding reviewing a vaccine won't delay any Empire State resident from getting the vaccine when it's ready.
"To the extent there is skepticism about Trump and distrust of Trump and a belief that Trump politicized the public health process, which he did, that he politicized the NIH and the CDC and the FDA, which he did, and that spills over to the vaccine, these separate panels that states will have will give those states confidence. New York is one of those states. There are about seven. It won't take any more time," Cuomo said on CNN. "We're going to have to distribute that vaccine quickly and fairly and Americans are going to have to trust that vaccine to take it. ... What New York has done and other states around the country is we've said we'll put together our own panel to review the FDA's approval process ... and that will then give people the comfort to now that they should take this vaccine."