Gov. Andrew Cuomo was blasted for throwing a wet blanket on news that a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was found to be more than 90 percent effective in their Phase 3 clinical trial because it happened while President Trump is still in office.
“It’s good news, bad news,” Cuomo said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is that it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,” he said.
“The vaccine plan is very important. It’s probably the most ambitious undertaking since COVID began. Just to put it in focus, we did 120 million COVID tests in this nation over seven months, scrambling, doing everything we can,” Cuomo continued. “We now have to do 330 million vaccinations, maybe twice. My state does more testing than any state in the United States. We did 12 million tests. We have to do 20 million vaccines.”
The Democratic governor then predicted that Trump will botch the plan for the vaccine.
“The Trump administration is rolling out the vaccination plan, and I believe it’s flawed. I believe it learns nothing from the past,” Cuomo said. “They’re basically going to have the private providers do it, and that’s going to leave out all sorts of communities that were left out the first time when COVID ravaged them.”
Cuomo, an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, accused the president of failing to mobilize the federal government to respond to COVID-19.
“They were never ready for it,” he said. “They were never ready for it. There was no mobilization of the government, and they’re still doing the same thing. They’re going to take this vaccine and they’re going to go through the private mechanism, through hospitals, through drug market chains, etc. That’s going to be slow and gonna bypass the communities that we call health care deserts. If you don’t have a Rite-Aid or CVS then you’re in trouble.”
Cuomo is regularly blamed for a controversial policy in late March that required nursing homes to take in patients so long as they were medically stable.
More than 6,300 COVID-positive patients were admitted to nursing homes between March 25 and May, according to a report from the New York State health department. The high number of admitted patients has been widely blamed for the state’s official care home death toll of more than 6,600.
Many took to Twitter to blast Cuomo’s comments on the vaccine:
The vaccine requires two doses, and the trial, which began July 27, included 38,955 participants who had had the second dose as of Sunday.
The heads of Pfizer and BioNTech celebrated their breakthrough as a reason for hope.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a statement. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
The companies expect to produce as many as 50 million doses of the vaccine this year and up to 1.3 billion next year.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.