President Donald Trump announced Friday at a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be distributed to every state in the nation, across the United States – except the State of New York, because Governor Andrew Cuomo last week made a special point of publicly announcing on television talk shows that he doesn’t trust it.
“As soon as April the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exception of places like New York State,” said Trump, “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 the health standpoint – but he wants to take his time with a vaccine.”
Cuomo said last Monday in an interview just after Pfizer announced it had made a breakthrough, that he believed the vaccine rollout under the Trump Administration would be “flawed.”
!@NYGovCuomo says it’s “bad news” Pfizer’s Covid vaccine came during the Trump Admin; says he’s going to work w/ other governors to “stop” distribution “before it does damage" pic.twitter.com/ULembNWokW
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 9, 2020
The New York governor lamented the fact that the vaccine would be distributed under the Trump Administration, and said, “We can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way that Trump and his administration is designing it.”
That ticked off the president, who pointed out the new vaccines are coming from “the greatest companies anywhere in the world, the 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. It pains me to say that. This is a very successful amazing vaccine at 90 percent and more. So the governor, Governor Cuomo, will have to let us know when he’s ready for it.
“We can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately and I know the people of New York very well and I know they want it. The governor will let us know when he’s ready.”
Last Wednesday, the New York Post reported that Cuomo had skipped 17 governors-only meetings about the vaccine; he had also ducked a one-on-one meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
On Friday night, in response to Trump’s threat, Cuomo said in an interview on MSNBC, “As soon as Trump delivers me a dose, I will be ready to administer it. Period. As soon as it’s available to New York, I’ll be ready to administer it. The day they distribute the vaccine, we will be ready to start the distribution. Our review of the FDA protocol will be simultaneous, concurrent with their delivery, we’re not going to have any lag in time.”
But Cuomo added that in any case, the issue of Trump’s ability to effectively distribute the vaccine would be moot by the time it gets out there, because “that’s really going to fall to the Joe Biden administration, and I am confident in Joe Biden’s capacity.”