‘He tries to bully governors… New Yorkers are not going to get bullied’
The dukes are up — again — between President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Yesterday, Trump took a hit at Cuomo during his remarks in the Rose Garden, threatening to deny New York a vaccine for COVID-19; and Cuomo retaliated with a devastating blow, slamming “bully,” “incompetent” Trump for spewing lies.
While discussing his administration’s coronavirus vaccine program, Operation Warp Speed, Trump said that the vaccine will be available as soon as April to the “entire general population” — “with the exception of places like New York state.” Trump continued to ramble that, “for political reasons the governor decided to say — and I don’t think it’s good politically, I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint — but he wants to take his time on the vaccine.” According to the New York Times, Trump was referring to comments Cuomo made in September that New York would review coronavirus vaccines approved by the federal government.
Trump’s comments didn’t end there.
The president went on to say that Cuomo “doesn’t trust where the vaccines are coming from” and that Cuomo will “have to let us know when he’s ready for it, otherwise we, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people, immediately. And I know many, I know the people in New York very well, I know they want it. So the governor will let us know when he’s ready.”
Cuomo wasn’t having it.
The governor appeared on MSNBC to address the remarks that he said simply were not true.
“None of what the president said is true, surprise, surprise,” Cuomo said. “The American people trust the drug company more than they trust the president.”
Cuomo on a coronavirus vaccine: "To the extent the president was politicizing the process, he lost the election. I think everybody knows that. I don't think the FDA is going to play games at this point. So I don't anticipate any real issue." pic.twitter.com/00KjxlnNKs
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 13, 2020
Cuomo also spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Not only did he assure that there would be no delay to New Yorkers receiving the vaccine, but he also said it’s the president Americans don’t trust.
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) November 13, 2020
“Here are the facts: We trust the drug companies,” adding that Pfizer is a “great New York company, actually.”
“What Americans don’t trust is President Trump,” Cuomo continued. “Every poll has shown, Wolf, yours included, that over half of the American people are afraid.”
“He tries to bully governors,” Cuomo told Blitzer. “He uses government as a retaliatory tool. As you know, Wolf, New Yorkers are not going to get bullied.”
According to a Pew Research poll published in September, Americans were nearly split on if they’d get a COVID-19 vaccine. Fifty-one percent said they definitely or probably will get it if it were available at that time, while 49 percent said they wouldn’t. Overall, Americans expressed concerns about both the safety and effectiveness of a possible vaccine and the pace of the approval process.
Any attempt by Donald Trump to deny New York access to a lifesaving #COVID19 vaccine will be met with a lawsuit, plain and simple.
Stop playing politics with people's lives.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) November 13, 2020
New York Attorney General Letitia James also addressed the president’s remarks via press release, describing them as “nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to extract vengeance on those who oppose his politics.”
“Once there is a fully-developed COVID-19 vaccine, we are confident that a Biden-Harris Administration will provide New York with the proper number of doses so that our state’s residents can achieve immunity,” James said. “If dissemination of the vaccine takes place in the twilight of a Trump Administration and the president wants to play games with people’s lives, we will sue and we will win.”