Trump says the Covid vaccine won’t be shipped to New York
President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. government will not deliver a coronavirus vaccine to New York if one is available.
Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, “has to let us know when he is ready, because otherwise we cannot deliver it to a state that does not immediately pass it on to its people,” Trump said during a press conference from the rose garden White house.
“He doesn’t trust where the vaccine comes from,” added Trump. “These come from the biggest corporations in the world, the biggest laboratories in the world, but he doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration, so we won’t get them to New York until we have them.” Authorization to do so, and it pains me to say that. “
On MSNBC, shortly after Trump’s comments, Cuomo said, “None of that [Trump] said is true. Surprise surprise.”
“I have been an outspoken opponent of many of Trump’s policies over the past four years,” he said, adding that Trump lost “by a large margin” in the New York presidential election and that prosecutors are also investigating the president for tax fraud.
“So he has problems with New York and likes to point to New York,” said Cuomo. “But that’s his problem. It’s his credibility problem. It’s the fear that he has politicized this nation’s health process, which is a valid fear.”
Shortly after Trump’s comments, New York attorney general Letitia James issued a statement threatening to sue Trump if a vaccine is not shipped to the state once it becomes available. “This is nothing more than vengeful behavior by a lame duck president trying to get revenge on those who oppose his policies,” said James.
Also in response to Trump, a senior Cuomo adviser said on Twitter that the governor is “fighting to ensure that the communities hardest hit by COVID receive the vaccine.” Trump “failed with his pandemic response, lied to Americans about how bad it was when he knew otherwise and was fired by voters for his incompetence,” said Rich Azzopardi.
Trump’s comments were his first personal remarks since NBC News and other news outlets predicted over the weekend that Joe Biden would win the presidential election.
Cuomo announced in late September that the state would create an independent task force made up of scientists, doctors, and health professionals to review data on all Covid-19 vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The governor said the state would independently review the vaccines after many asked if the White House would try to speed up the approval process for political reasons before election day.
“To be honest, I will not trust the federal government’s opinion and I would not recommend New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion,” the Democratic governor said in a statement.
Other states followed New York’s leadership. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced October 19 that the state would not distribute any vaccine until its own panel of experts reviews the data to determine its safety. Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined the California Vaccine Safety Review Group on Oct. 27, appointing their own experts to review and review any vaccine that receives federal approval before it is released to the public becomes.
Over the past week, the U.S. coronavirus outbreak has worsened. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the nation reported more than 150,000 new infections on Thursday. The 7-day average of daily new cases is 131,445, 32% more than a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of the Hopkins data.
On Monday, Pfizer announced that the Covid-19 vaccine developed with German drug manufacturer BioNTech was 90% effective in a late-stage study. Pfizer said its analysis assessed 94 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the 43,538 participants in the study. The split of the case between those who were vaccinated and those who received a placebo showed that the vaccine was over 90% effective seven days after the company’s second two-dose vaccine.
Trump said Friday that it was an “unfortunate mistake” when Pfizer said earlier this week that it was not part of Operation Warp Speed. While Pfizer signed a vaccine doses deal with the US government in July, the company had been working on a vaccine against the coronavirus long before that.
Trump said his administration would work to “secure” an emergency permit for Pfizer, which should come “extremely soon”. He called it a “great” and “safe” vaccine, although Pfizer has yet to release more safety data for Phase 3 trials.
“It’s getting approved very, very quickly,” he said. “The vaccine is being distributed immediately to frontline workers, the elderly, and high-risk Americans. It will be a matter of weeks. Get out very, very much earlier than planned.”
Trump also said the economy recovered “above expectations”. He pointed to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed nearly 400 points on Friday.
– CNBC’s Kevin Stankiewicz contributed to this report.