Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during an interview on Monday morning that Americans “should” be “very skeptical” about taking any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“How confident are you in the approval process of the FDA right now?” ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked.
“Well, first, how confident am I? I’m not that confident, but my opinion doesn’t matter. I don’t believe the American people are that confident,” Cuomo responded. “You’re going to say to the American people now, here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe? And we’re not 100% sure of the consequences? I think it’s going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine and they should be.”
“So, what’s it going to take to convince you that it’s safe, that it’s effective, that it should be distributed?” Stephanopoulos pressed.
“Well, what I said I’m going to do in New York is we’re going to put together our own group of doctors and medical experts to review the vaccine and the efficacy and the protocol and if they say it’s safe then I’ll go to the people of New York and I will say it’s safe with that credibility,” Cuomo said. “But I believe all across the country, you’re going to need someone other than this FDA and this CDC saying it’s safe.”
“And that means we’re going to need a change in the White House, is that what you’re saying?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Look, I personally hope for a change in the White House, but put that aside. If this administration continued, the CDC and the FDA doesn’t have any credibility.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 19, 2020
Dr. Kevin Pham, M.D., Visiting Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation, slammed Cuomo in late August over a book that Cuomo wrote about the way that he handled the pandemic.
Cuomo argues that his leadership is what brought New York out of dire straits. Indeed, in those remarks, he described New York as “ground zero for the COVID virus,” though he said they’ve gone from “one of the highest infection rates on the globe to one of the lowest.” Never mind that the first confirmed case and the first outbreaks in the United States occurred in Washington State, not New York.
Moreover, there’s been increasing speculation that the infection begins to burn itself out after about 20% of a population has been infected. New York City, as it turns out, has reached that level with an estimated 19.5% of its population infected, as antibody surveys have suggested. …
It seems less likely that Cuomo’s able leadership ended the pandemic in New York and more likely that, under his watch, the virus burned through the population and is running out of New Yorkers left to infect and kill. Although he may have proved ineffectual in halting the spread of the virus, he did do something that had an enormous effect: He sent the virus into the midst of those most vulnerable to its worst consequences.
To be clear, policymakers deserve a tremendous amount of grace for making mistakes in the early pandemic response, but the decision to force nursing homes to admit patients with COVID-19 was completely inexcusable. There were very few things we knew about the coronavirus at the beginning, but one of the very few things we knew for certain was that the virus had a particularly deadly effect on the elderly. Yet the Cuomo administration, as late as March 25, went ahead and required nursing homes to admit or readmit patients despite their having a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. …
Gov. Cuomo, who presided over the worst pandemic response in the country and whose policy actively and directly made it worse, has no business writing a book to congratulate himself on a job well done. He deserves exactly zero plaudits for good leadership and should be remembered for, if anything, his “impossible mountain” of death.