Pfizer’s announcement that its coronavirus vaccine could be ready for distribution within the next two months was partially “bad news” because it comes before President Trump leaves office, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday morning.
Pfizer and BioNTech revealed on Monday that their vaccine was 90 percent effective according to preliminary data, and that they could request emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of November. However, Governor Cuomo lamented that the announcement means the Trump administration would be in charge of vaccine distribution.
Cuomo’s popularity skyrocketed in March when New York went into lockdown to fight the pandemic. Polls have consistently shown that state residents approve of the governor’s handling of the pandemic.
“The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is that it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,” Cuomo told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. “The Trump Administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I believe it’s flawed. I believe it learns nothing from the past.”
According to the governor, the administration’s plan will be ineffective because it will be implemented through the private sector.
“They’re going to take this vaccine and they’re going to go through the private mechanism. Through hospitals, through drug market chains, et cetera. That’s going to be slow and that’s going to bypass the communities that we call health care deserts,” Cuomo said. “If you don’t have a Rite Aid or a CVS then you’re in trouble and that’s what happened the first time with Covid.”
Cuomo has previously stated he would be skeptical of a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration during Trump’s tenure. 14
“What I said I’m going to do in New York is we’re going to put together our own group of doctors and medical experts to review the vaccine and the efficacy and the protocol, and if they say it’s safe, I’ll go to the people of New York and I will say it’s safe with that credibility,” Cuomo said in mid-October. “But I believe, all across the country, you are going to need someone other than this FDA and this CDC saying it’s safe.”
Coronavirus has killed 33,314 people in New York, more than in any other state since the start of the pandemic. New York City bore the brunt of the pandemic, and roughly 3 percent of the city’s population has been infected.