New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said while it’s “good news” that Pfizer has recently made a breakthrough in its coronavirus vaccine clinical trial, he believes it is “bad news” that the Trump administration can plan the distribution.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday, Cuomo said he has spoken to other governors about how they can change or even block Trump’s plan for the president-elect. Joe Biden could do it instead.
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“Well that’s good news, bad news, George,” Cuomo said. “The good news is that the Pfizer tests are looking good and we will have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is that Joe Biden will take over for around two months, which means this administration will be implementing a vaccination plan. ”
Cuomo highlighted the scale of the distribution plan, which he said would involve up to 330 million vaccinations – which could require two doses – compared to 120 million coronavirus tests performed in the United States in seven months.
“And the Trump administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I think it’s flawed,” Cuomo continued. “I don’t think this teaches anything from the past. They’re basically going to ask private providers to do it, and that’s going to leave out all kinds of communities that were left out the first time COVID ravaged them. ”
Stephanopoulos then asked Cuomo what Biden could do that Trump wouldn’t, and Cuomo immediately returned to discussing his issues with Trump.
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“The Biden administration – when you deny a problem like Trump did, you can never solve it,” Cuomo said. “And it’s true in life. He then claimed that the Trump administration “denied COVID” while Trump had a White House coronavirus task force that gave regular updates to the early stages of the pandemic as well as House guidance. Blanche for a multi-phase reopening strategy.
Cuomo then reiterated his claim that Trump’s plan would leave out some communities and said, “I’m sure the Biden administration will fix this.
The governor has discussed what he hopes to do to affect Trump’s distribution plan.
“You have two months, and we can’t let this vaccination plan move forward the way the Trump administration sees it because Biden can’t undo it two months later, we’ll be in the middle. And I’m in class – I’ve told governors all over the country about it; how do we shape the Trump administration’s vaccination plan to fix it or stop it before it causes damage.
After the interview aired, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Released a statement criticizing Cuomo for his remarks.
“What the hell is Governor Cuomo talking about?” This is great news and everyone – Republicans and Democrats and nonpoliticians – should all be thrilled with the possibility of an effective vaccine, ”Sasse said. “After this nasty virus kills hundreds of thousands of Americans and puts millions out of work, it’s more than disgusting that Governor Cuomo is using a silver lining for another worn-out talking point ‘Trump is bad ‘. When we have a vaccine we will need all hands on deck to distribute it as quickly as possible – shamelessly politicizing that is dangerous and stupid.
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Cuomo himself has been criticized for the way he handled the early stages of the pandemic in New York City, especially when it came to a policy that required nursing home patients who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 are returning to their facilities after being released without consideration of whether they were still contagious.
The March directive, which was rescinded in May, told nursing homes that residents cannot be refused admission or readmission on the sole basis of a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. He also said institutions cannot require people to be tested before being admitted or readmitted if they are in stable condition.
Thousands of nursing home patients have died in their facilities after the directive was released, but Cuomo has so far not released statistics on patients infected with the coronavirus while in their facilities and who later died in hospitals.