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President Donald Trump addressed the nation for the first time since the election and gave an update on the coronavirus vaccine which he said will not be distributed in New York in the initial rollout.
The president called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his remarks, noting that when the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is set to roll out by April 2021, New York would not be receiving any supplies since the Democrat leader has signaled his opposition for “political reasons.”
Amid a growing surge in the number of daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this week, Trump delivered an update on “Operation Warp Speed” on Friday, praising the “medical breakthrough” and indicating the vaccine will be available soon for all Americans with the exception of those in New York where Cuomo apparently has to give his approval first.
“The past nine months my administration has initiated the single greatest mobilization in U.S. history pioneering, developing, and manufacturing therapies and vaccines in record time, numbers like nobody’s seen before,” Trump said at a press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday.
(Source: The White House)
“No medical breakthrough of this scope and this magnitude has ever been achieved this rapidly and this quickly, and we’re very proud of it,” Trump continued.
“Again, this process is starting right away, millions of doses will soon be going out the door. They’re all ready waiting for that final approval,” he added before taking a shot at Cuomo.
“As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of places like New York state where for political reasons the governor decided to say — I don’t think it’s good politically, I think it’s bad from a health standpoint, but he wants to take his time on the vaccine and he doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from,” he said.
(Source: The Hill)
Cuomo, who has been highly critical of the president’s handling of the pandemic, thought that reports of Pfizer’s breakthrough on a potential vaccine was both “good news” and “bad news” when he spoke on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday, adding that Trump’s vaccination plan was “flawed.”
“The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over, and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,” Cuomo said in remarks that earned him a wave of criticism.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 9, 2020
“These [vaccines] 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,” Trump said in the Friday press conference.
“This is a very successful, amazing vaccine at 90 percent and more. So Governor Cuomo will have to let us know when he’s ready for it. Otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately. And I know the people of New York and I know they want it, so the governor will let us know when he’s ready,” he said, adding that he hoped Cuomo “doesn’t handle this as badly as he’s handling the nursing homes.”
The governor, who has set up a panel to review the virus, shot back a short time later during an appearance on MSNBC.
“He should be ashamed of himself. He uses the government as a retaliatory tool. That’s what he does,” Cuomo said Friday. “None of what he says is true. Surprise, surprise. As soon as Trump delivers me a dose, I will be ready to administer it. Period.”
“As soon as the FDA approves it, we will have our panel approve it, seven other states will review it,” Cuomo said. “And then I can say to the people of New York, ‘I know you were dubious, but we had a separate panel review it — it’s safe, take it.'”
Trump’s speech on Friday comes as the nation’s election outcome remains undecided with the president refusing to concede amid ongoing legal challenges and vote recounts and despite the media prematurely crowning Democratic nominee Joe Biden the winner.
During his remarks, Trump did not acknowledge he may not be securing a second term but did say “time will tell” about the next administration, while vowing he would not mandate a national lockdown if he is in charge. The president may have been referring to comments by Biden’s coronavirus advisor, Dr. Michael Osterholm, who said this week that the nation may be entering “COVID hell” and a universal lockdown would be in order.
“Ideally, we won’t go to a lockdown. I will not go, this administration will not be going to a lockdown,” Trump said Friday. “Hopefully the, the – uh – whatever happens in the future – who knows which administration will be. I guess time will tell.”