New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed Americans don’t trust President Trump in a series of televised interviews Friday, after Trump threatened to withhold a potential coronavirus vaccine from New Yorkers.
During remarks in the Rose Garden, Trump said a vaccine will be widely available by April, “with the exception of places like New York state, where for political reasons the governor decided to say … he wants to take his time with the vaccine. He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from.”
Cuomo has questioned the president’s political motives and called for an independent review of the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness before its release. He argued that would not create a delay if it occurred simultaneously with its delivery.
Hours after Trump’s remarks, the Democratic governor doubled down in media appearances Friday evening.
“To the extent there is skepticism about Trump and distrust of Trump, and a belief that Trump politicized the public health process, which he did, that he politicized the NIH and the CDC and the FDA, which he did, and that spills over to the vaccine, these separate panels that states will have will give those states confidence,” Cuomo told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “New York is one of those states. There are about seven. It won’t take any more time.”
Such a team is being led by a “Nobel laureate,” Cuomo told MSNBC’s Katy Tur in a separate interview, stressing that he trusts the companies working on the vaccine, just not the White House.
“Pfizer is a great New York company,” he said. “Regeneron is a great New York company.”
In another interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Cuomo said: “We trust Pfizer. What the American people don’t trust is Trump.”
The New York Attorney General’s Office said the state is prepared to sue the Trump administration should New Yorkers not receive the vaccine immediately once distribution begins.
“This is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to exact vengeance on those who oppose his politics,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.
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