New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo publicly rejected the Trump Administration’s efforts to move forward implementing a COVID-19 vaccine, vowing to work with other governors to stop its distribution “before it does damage.”
“The Trump administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I believe it’s flawed,” Cuomo said. “I believe that it learns nothing from the past.”
“You have two months and we can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way the Trump administration is designing it because Biden can’t undo it and two months later will be in the midst of it,” Cuomo continued.
Cuomo’s reaction comes shortly after early data from Pfizer, a private drug-making company in conjunction with BioNTech, shows that its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing the virus.
Instead of relying on the Trump Administration who oversaw the development of this vaccine to distribute it properly, Cuomo, who received help from the federal government early on in the pandemic, believes that former vice president Joe Biden will do a better job.
“When you deny a problem the way Trump did. You can never solve it. And that’s true in life,” he said. “The Trump Administration denied COVID so they were never ready for it. There was no mobilization of the government, and they’re still doing the same thing.”
“I’m sure the Biden administration is going to address that,” Cuomo added. “I think his first step is saying ‘let’s focus on the science. Let’s depoliticize testing data.’ Listen to the science is the exact opposite of Trump.”
The news of a vaccine, Cuomo said, is “good and bad,” because, while he claims that a vaccine will be helpful, he also says that the implementation of a vaccine will be similar to the United States’ testing efforts where people were just “scrambling.”
Cuomo also expressed concern about the vaccine being developed by “private providers,” excluding certain communities from obtaining it.
“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,” he warned, ignoring the fact that the development of the potential preventative was expedited due to private partnerships spurred on by the government.
“They’re going to take this vaccine and they’re going to go through the private mechanism through hospitals through drug market chains, etc,” he added. “That’s going to be slow and that’s going to bypass the communities that we call healthcare deserts. If you don’t have a Rite Aid or CVS, then you’re in trouble.”
Cuomo previously expressed doubt about a vaccine manufactured under Trump’s leadership saying that Americans should remain “skeptical” about it. A poll released in October showed that Cuomo and other Democrats distrust in the Trump Admin’s ability to handle and implement a vaccine is undermining the American willingness to get the vaccine, including in minority communities hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic.