While some 328 million Americans are eagerly awaiting a vaccine to ward off COVID-19, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apparently isn’t one of them.
The Democrat, who is busy hawking a new book as the virus spikes again in New York, on Tuesday complained that President Trump’s ego is driving the fierce push to create a vaccine, as are greedy drug companies, which, he said, just want to cash in by manufacturing the vaccines.
“You didn’t need Trump to tell the vaccine companies you should develop a vaccine. He had nothing to do with it,” Cuomo said in an interview on Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” radio show. “Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, they all know this is billions of dollars, whoever gets to the market first. So, it’s in their economic interest to push this fast.”
Pfizer on Nov. 9 said results from its most recent human trials on its coronavirus vaccine show it is more than 90% effective, but on Tuesday, they said the vaccine is 95% effective. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday that once their vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it will be shipped quickly to locations in the U.S.
And a new vaccine from drug maker Moderna — developed in conjunction with the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed — is also nearly 95% effective, but does not have to be kept at sub-zero temperatures like the Pfizer version, the company said Monday. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said 20 million doses will be available by the end of the year, Fox News reported.
Trump on Monday took credit for the quick development of the two vaccines.
“Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “For those great ‘historians,’ please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!”
Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective. For those great “historians”, please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
Cuomo, though, said that before he leaves the White House — should he ultimately be deemed the loser of the 2020 election — Trump merely wants to be able to declare that he “solved COVID because” he supposedly “discovered a vaccine.”
“Nah, it’s all BS. He didn’t do anything. It’s the drug companies and nobody is going to trust him saying it’s a safe vaccine. But you’re going to see this play out, they’ll do what’s called an emergency authorization by the” Food and Drug Administration (FDA), he said.
Cuomo predicted that authorization could happen as soon as January because “Trump will push them.”
“He will say we authorized the drug for emergency use, and you could see it starting in January before [Democrat Joe] Biden gets into office and that’s why I’m pushing so hard to make sure that we have a process in place to check what the FDA says before people start getting a vaccine in New York,” Cuomo said.
Michael Bars, a White House spokesman, said that Cuomo does not have “much of an understanding [of] the unprecedented public-private partnership poised to deliver a life-saving vaccine in record time.”
“President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed continues to expedite the regulatory process while providing billions of dollars to a portfolio of companies in the process of delivering a safe and effective vaccine five times faster than other in history,” Bars said in a statement provided to Fox News.
“The recent announcements by Pfizer and Moderna regarding their incredibly promising and impressive efficacy data further demonstrate that the Warp Speed Program is rapidly advancing on a trajectory of success to the benefit of millions of at-risk Americans,” he said.