“I tell you today, if the Trump administration does not change this plan and does not provide an equitable vaccine process, we will enforce our legal rights. We will bring legal action to protect New Yorkers,’’ the governor said according to the New York Post.
“I’m not going to allow New Yorkers to be bullied or abused,’’ the Democratic governor added.
Trump, aiming to settle political scores, said he would not ship vaccines to hard-hit New York after Cuomo said he will have his own panel of experts independently “review” any immunization from the federal government.
“The governor will let us know when he’s ready,” Trump said.
Cuomo previously pushed back, saying New York is one of several states that set up their own scientific panels to give residents greater confidence to take the vaccine if it is safe to use. He accused Trump of “politicizing the process.”
Sixty-two percent of respondents in a September Kaiser Family Foundation poll said they are at least somewhat worried that political pressure from the Trump administration would lead to the FDA rushing to approve a vaccine without making sure that it is safe.
“As soon as they get us the drug, we are ready to distribute it,” Cuomo said.
The president has consistently played down the pandemic, which has killed more than 240,000 Americans and infected more than 10 million people in the U.S.
Cuomo has for months questioned Trump’s political motives regarding a coronavirus vaccine and its credibility under his leadership.
On Monday, following positive news from Pfizer-BioNTech regarding its coronavirus vaccine, Cuomo told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that “we can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way that the Trump Administration is designing it because (President-elect Joe) Biden can’t undo it two months later.”
Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech said clinical data showed their COVID-19 vaccine candidate to be 90% effective in preventing coronavirus in their Phase 3 clinical trial and that they could file for emergency use authorization with the FDA by the third week of November.
“The White House has been unhappy with the FDA because they’ve been unwilling to accelerate the approval of the vaccine because they want it done for Election Day,” Cuomo said on October 22.
Three days before, in an interview on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Cuomo had predicted the American public would be “very skeptical” about taking any vaccine touted by the Trump administration.
“You’re going to say to the American people, ‘Now here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe,'” said the governor, who added that his administration would “put together our own group of doctors and medical experts to review the vaccine.”
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.
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