New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is being accused of politicizing a Covid-19 vaccine, after saying he’ll work to disrupt distribution plans by the Trump administration until Joe Biden assumes office.
“The good news is the vaccine is coming. The bad news is it’s about two months until Joe Biden becomes president,” Cuomo told Good Morning America on Monday, in response to news that Pfizer is close to finalizing a Covid-19 vaccine that could be 90 percent effective.
The governor claims Trump’s distribution plan will leave people in “health deserts” without access to a vaccine. “If you don’t have a Rite Aid or Walgreens [drugstore nearby], you’re in trouble,” he said, adding that Biden will “address” such issues.
“We can’t let this vaccine plan go forward the way Trump is planning it,” Cuomo said. “We need to fix it, or stop it before it does damage.”
Cuomo claims he is working with other governors to potentially halt Trump’s vaccine distribution plan in favor of one from Biden, when he takes office.
!@NYGovCuomo says it’s “bad news” Pfizer’s Covid vaccine came during the Trump Admin; says he’s going to work w/ other governors to “stop” distribution “before it does damage” pic.twitter.com/ULembNWokW
The governor’s promise to disrupt distribution plans has earned him a slew of criticism on social media.
“By saying he’s going to slow distribution, and tying the vaccine to Trump, Andrew Cuomo is needlessly politicizing a major health and scientific development, which, in turn, will cost lives,” writer Evan Siegfried tweeted.
Fox News weather presenter Janice Dean accused Cuomo of being “one of the worst leaders of all time.” Dean has been one of the governor’s most vocal critics this year, after both her father and mother-in-law passed away in New York nursing homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has linked the deaths to a controversial order from Cuomo forcing care homes to accept positive Covid-19 cases.
Lol. @NYGovCuomo continues to be a terrible leader. https://t.co/OypEdsTYUr
“This is one of the most irresponsible statements anyone could make. Everyone should hope for a vaccine as fast as possible and work together to distribute it as fast as possible,” former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer wrote.
First the nursing homes, now this https://t.co/iOurjZUmB6
Cuomo continues to play politics with people’s lives. A vaccine is good no matter who is president. How is this so difficult?! https://t.co/d2Jiyj5zWm
No one loves playing politics with people’s lives more than Andrew Cuomo. New York right now is like Gotham elected the Joker to run it. https://t.co/oxvO8QbwJJ
President Donald Trump called the potential Pfizer vaccine “great news” in a tweet on Monday.
Though the vaccine could be distributed while Trump is still president, his handling of the pandemic was one of the most frequent criticisms leveled at him during the election campaign, including by his opponent Joe Biden. There have been more than 230,000 Covid-19 deaths in the US thus far, and around 10 million cases in total. The US even set a daily record, after more than 126,000 cases were reported on Saturday alone.
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