President Donald Trump said the federal government won’t send doses of COVID-19 vaccine to New York unless Governor Andrew Cuomo asks for them.
“For political reasons, the governor decided, they say politically…he wants to take his time with the vaccine,” Trump said during a November 13 news conference. “He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from. He doesn’t trust that it’s this White House, this administration.”
The president added, “We can’t be giving it to a state that isn’t delivering it to its people immediately,” saying that New York would not get the vaccine unless Cuomo asked for it. He then slammed the governor for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “I hope he doesn’t handle this as badly as he’s handled the nursing homes.”
Trump’s comments about New York came after Cuomo took a swipe at the administration following the announcement that Pfizer had developed a vaccine that was 90% effective.
Here’s what you need to know:
Cuomo Criticized the Administration’s Process for Handling Vaccines & Says People Worry It’s Political
What set Trump off against Cuomo? The New York governor’s comments after Pfizer’s big announcement.
Cuomo appeared on on ABC’s Good Morning America on November 9 and called Trump’s plan to roll out the Pfizer vaccine “flawed.”
“They’re basically going to have the private providers do it and that’s going to leave out all sorts of communities that were left out the first time when COVID ravaged them,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo also responded that an overwhelming percentage of Americans “are worried about politico interference” in the approval and vaccine process by Trump.
Cuomo said on MSNBC that “a number of states New York included” are trying “to build credibility so people will accept the vaccine” by putting together their own panels to review the FDA process so “we can say to people it is safe so you can take the vaccine.”
According to Cuomo, it would be concurrent and is a “way to build confidence in people.” He added, “The majority of Americans say it has been a political approval process.”
He said “we’re excited about a vaccine but now you have to get people to take it.” He said the question becomes “how do you shore up confidence?”
He said Trump lost New York state in the election by a “huge margin.”
The Vaccine Could Be Available by December for Millions & More Widely in April, Trump & a General Say
When would a vaccine be available?
A top general heavily involved in the nation’s COVID-19 fight said in a news conference with President Donald Trump on November 13 that 20 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine may be available to Americans by December.
Both the general, Gustave Perna, and the president gave timelines for when vaccines could reach the American people. Trump focused on mass distribution of the vaccine, and he said that would be available “as soon as April.”
Perna said that six vaccines are now showing great promise in development, and two could soon seek emergency authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration. If this approval is received, he anticipates doses going out to the public before the end of the year.
Perna said that the administration plans “to have enough vaccine doses for 20 million individuals in the month of December and another 25-30 million per month on an ongoing basis from there on.”
“We can say that significant process has been made…we are close to the objective,” said Perna.
Trump said the vaccine will be distributed first to at-risk Americans, the elderly, and front-line workers “in a matter of weeks.”
“By vaccinating elderly and high risk, we effectively end this phase of this pandemic and allow seniors to reclaim the golden years of their lives,” said Trump.
He said that “millions of doses will soon be going out” and added “as soon as April, a vaccine will be available.”
Trump called it a “very safe and great vaccine.”
The president reiterated his opposition to a national lockdown and said other vaccines also hold promise when fighting COVID-19.
“We have others coming we think will be of equal level (to the Pfizer vaccine),” Trump said of vaccines.
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