NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump announced Friday a coronavirus vaccine will be available in April for the entire country, except New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired back Friday night.
The president spoke at a press conference on Operation Warp Speed and vaccine distribution, but then suddenly said New York will not get its vaccine unless the governor approves it.
“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, and I don’t think it’s good from a political standpoint, but he wants to take his time with the vaccine,” Trump said. “We won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say that. This is a very successful, amazing vaccine and 90% and more. But, so the governor, Governor Cuomo will have to let us know what he’s ready for it.”
Cuomo has said he won’t take the Trump administration’s word for it that the vaccine is safe, so he’s appointed his own panel to approve it.
MORE: Gov. Cuomo: ‘I’m Not Going To Trust The Federal Government’s Opinion’ On Potential Approved COVID-19 Vaccine
The governor says he has faith in drug companies, but not the administration.
“But I do want to be able to say that the people of this state, trust the vaccine. I do want to be able to say I know you have doubts about Trump and about politicization of the health process, but we had a separate panel with headed by Nobel Prize Laureate,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo says seven other states have also appointed panels to approve a vaccine. He says the New York panel would not slow down distribution of the vaccine.
It appears Trump has taken exception to that and seemed to want to start another feud with the governor.
It’s also quite possible that a Biden administration would be carrying much of this out.
State Attorney General Letitia James says she is prepared to sue the Trump administration if New York doesn’t receive the vaccine with the rest of the United States.
She released the following statement in response to Trump’s remarks:
“This is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to extract vengeance on those who oppose his politics. Once there is a fully-developed COVID-19 vaccine, we are confident that a Biden-Harris Administration will provide New York with the proper number of doses so that our state’s residents can achieve immunity. If dissemination of the vaccine takes place in the twilight of a Trump Administration and the president wants to play games with people’s lives, we will sue and we will win.”
Trump made only his second appearance before the media since Election Day.
More Election 2020 Coverage:
With President-elect Joe Biden now being projected to win in Georgia and Trump in North Carolina, Biden winds up with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
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