President Donald Trump said on Saturday that New York may get the coronavirus vaccine later than other states because Gov. Andrew Cuomo has suggested that the Empire State may not begin using the drug right away.
“I LOVE NEW YORK! As everyone knows, the Trump Administration has produced a great and safe VACCINE far ahead of schedule. Another Administration would have taken five years. The problem is, @NYGovCuomo said that he will delay using it, and other states WANT IT NOW,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Nov. 14.
“We cannot waste time and can only give to those states that will use the vaccine immediately. Therefore the New York delay. Many lives to be saved, but we are ready when they are. Stop playing politics!” the president added.
Trump singled out New York on Friday during a press conference on the administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative designed to rapidly distribute a vaccine for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the coronavirus. Cuomo “will have to let us know when he’s ready for it because otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately,” the president said.
Cuomo has repeatedly doubted the efficacy of a vaccine developed under the Trump administration. He claimed on CNN on Friday that while Americans trust the companies developing versions of the vaccine, they are wary that the approval process has been politicized.
“We are in a situation now where half the people in the country are saying ‘I don’t know if I should trust the vaccine,’” Cuomo said.
The New York governor told ABC last week that he is talking to other governors about fixing or stopping the president’s vaccine distribution plan. In September, the governor formed an independent board to review the efficacy and safety of a COVID-19 vaccine. California, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada have since taken up similar efforts.
The U.S. government reached a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech in July, agreeing to pay $1.95 billion for the first 100 million doses of BNT162, the companies’ vaccine candidate. The deal was contingent upon approval or emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, which is pending.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
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