Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer made headlines on Monday with its announcement of a vaccine that appears to be 90% effective against COVID-19, but not everyone is convinced.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, signaled a desire for more stringent measures of testing before delivering the vaccine to his state’s residents, as reported by Fox News. That led to President Donald Trump’s threat of withholding immediate delivery to the Empire State altogether.
“We’ll be in the midst of it”
Cuomo’s skepticism of the good news from Pfizer was clear in his comments during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday.
“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,” the governor told host George Stephanopoulos.
He went on to assert that he has “been talking to governors across the nation” about how they “can shape the Trump administration vaccine plan to fix it, or stop it before it does damage.”
Without presenting any solid evidence that the vaccine research was in any way flawed or fraudulent, Cuomo concluded that the Trump administration’s plan to administer it would cause unspecified “damage.”
His remarks drew a harsh rebuke from Trump on Friday during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.
“We trust Pfizer”
“As soon as April the vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of places like New York state,” the president said.
Accusing Cuomo of being motivated by politics, Trump derided the governor’s assertion that “he wants to take his time with the vaccine” and “doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from.”
Later on that night, Cuomo had an opportunity to respond during an interview on CNN.
“What the president says is just untrue,” he declared. “We trust Pfizer, what the American people don’t trust is Trump.”
For her part, New York Attorney General Letitia James also sounded off on the president’s reaction to Cuomo’s rhetoric: “This is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to exact vengeance on those who oppose his politics.”