November 27, 2020

Trump says coronavirus vaccine will not be delivered to New York until governor accepts it – The Independent

In a White House Rose Garden address, Mr Trump targeted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when updating the public about the future of the coronavirus vaccine amid the pandemic. 

Mr Trump accused the governor of not wanting to accept the coronavirus vaccine produced under his administration over “political reasons” and said that the federal government would therefore not send the jab until Mr Cuomo “authorises” for them to do so. 

“He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from,” Mr Trump added. “These are coming from the greatest companies anywhere in the world, greatest labs in the world, but he doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so and that pains me to say that.”

Mr Trump and the Democratic governor have exchanged terse words about their respective responses to the coronavirus pandemic since it started earlier this year. 

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and other officials did not respond to inquiry about whether the president considered the state’s 19.4m residents when making his decision.

When appearing on MSNBC on Friday, Mr Cuomo defended his decision to enact an independent  review panel that would analyse vaccine data. 

“It is a way to build confidence in people,” he said. “It is not New York issue. Seven states have a review panel because a majority of Americans say it has been a politicised process.” 

Mr Cuomo added that the independent panel would be “simultaneously” reviewing vaccine data and “as soon as the Trump administration delivered me a dose, we would be prepared to administer it,” claiming New York residents would not be delayed in receiving the vaccine if it achieved proper approval. 

Questions about Operation Warp Speed formed ahead of the 2020 election, as people expressed concern vaccines would be pushed out in an effort to help the president politically. 

In an effort to build confidence with the coronavirus vaccine, Mr Cuomo announced last month that New York state would independently review the different jabs and data with a team of experts prior to rolling out the treatment to the public. 

“I believe all across the country you’re going to need someone other than this FDA and this CDC saying it’s safe,” Mr Cuomo said last month when speaking on Good Morning America.

Operation Warp Speed was an initiative created by the Trump administration to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine to the public. 

During the Rose Garden address, it was revealed that two companies are in the final stages of vaccine development and were expected to request emergency authorisation from the FDA in the coming weeks. If data continued on its positive track, this could mean that the vaccine distribution might start as early as December. 

Mr Trump said that a majority of the public could receive the vaccine by April 2021. 

The news comes just days after Pfizer announced its vaccine developed with German drugmaker BioNTech was 90 per cent effective in a late-stage trial. The vaccine was expected to seek emergency authorisation by the FDA in a matter of weeks. 

While a vaccine might be in the near future for the US, the coronavirus pandemic has grown steadily worse in a vast majority of states. The US has recorded 10.6m coronavirus cases and more than 243,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.