New York governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that it is “bad news” that a vaccine may come during the Trump administration and that he is working with other state governors to stop the vaccine rollout plan “before it does damage.”
“We can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way the Trump administration is designing it because Biden can’t undo it two months later—we’ll be in the midst of it,” Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. “I’ve been talking to governors across the nation about that, how can we shape the Trump administration vaccine plan to fix it or stop it before it does damage.”
Cuomo published a book earlier this year touting his “leadership lessons” during the coronavirus pandemic despite the fact that New York City was the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, seeding much of the country with the virus. He has underplayed his role in the early stages of the state’s flawed response to the virus, including his decision to send infected patients back to nursing homes after they were deemed “medically stable.” That decision is estimated to have contributed to tens of thousands of infections and thousands of deaths, although Cuomo has denied responsibility.
Public health figures all over the world celebrated news of Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE having a coronavirus vaccine that’s more than 90 percent effective, according to a large-scale clinical trial, but Cuomo described the situation as “good news, bad news.” He called for Joe Biden to “depoliticize” the vaccine and said the rollout plan under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed is fundamentally flawed because it involves too much partnership with the private-sector hospitals and pharmacies.
Pfizer announced Monday morning that its Phase III vaccine testing trials showed more than 90 percent effectiveness in preventing new infections in volunteers. The company estimated that it would have enough doses ready by the end of 2020 to vaccinate 15 to 20 million individuals.