Trump Bizarrely Threatens to Withhold Covid Vaccine from New York State Until Gov. Cuomo Approves It
Donald Trump threatened to withhold the Pfizer coronavirus from distribution in New York State in final two months of his presidency until Gov. Andrew Cuomo personally accepted it.
During a White House press conference where he addressed the public for the first time since Election Night, Trump offered a long recitation of Operation Warp Speed and his administration’s efforts to create a vaccine to blunt the Covid-19 pandemic, which is currently raging out of control across the country. He promised to have initial doses of the vaccine sent out to the “high risk individuals” in the coming weeks and the rest of the country by the end of April 2021.
But during his discussion of the rollout, Trump singled out New York state as an exception to this rollout process, claiming that he would block any vaccine’s distribution there until Cuomo gave his approval.
Less than a month ago, Cuomo, worried about undue White House political pressure on the vaccine approval process had said Americans should be “very skeptical” about any coronavirus vaccine approved by the Trump administration. The New York governor further said he would want independent verification of any vaccine’s efficacy outside of the CDC and FDA before declaring it safe. However, any state expert’s review of the data about a vaccine could occur in the coming weeks when the FDA’s own review is taking place and before the vaccine is ready to be distributed.
“Again, this process is starting right away, millions of doses will soon be going out the door. They’re all ready waiting for that final approval,” Trump said, before clearly taking a calculated shot at Democratic politician who has been very critical of his handling of the outbreak. “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 — I don’t think it’s good politically, I think it’s bad from a health standpoint, but he wants to take this time on the vaccine and he doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from.”
“These [vaccines] 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,” Trump continued. “This is a very successful, amazing vaccine at 90% [effective] and more but — so the governor Cuomo will have to let us know when he’s ready for it. We can’t be delivering it to a the state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately.”
“I know the people of New York very well. I know they want it. The governor will let us know when he’s ready,” Trump went on, pressing the issue, before bringing up criticism of Cuomo’s own handling of Covid-19 nursing home deaths. “I hope he doesn’t handle this as badly as the nursing homes. We’re ready to provide it as soon as they let us know that they’ll actually use it. And again, it’s a very safe and a great vaccine.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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