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Trump battles Cuomo over vaccine plan

Trump battles Cuomo over vaccine plan
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President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE on Saturday doubled down on his position that New York will not be getting a COVID-19 vaccine right away due to comments from Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoGovernors say no additional vaccine doses coming, despite Trump admin promise Mississippi runs out of coronavirus vaccine as state expands eligibility Cuomo announces performance initiative to revive New York's arts economy MORE (D), the latest in a series of verbal attacks between the two elected officials over their divergent responses to pandemic. 

During a press conference from the White House Rose Garden Friday, Trump responded to Cuomo’s previously verbalized doubts in a vaccine pushed through by the Trump administration, with the governor announcing in September that he would be putting together an independent board to review the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) data on candidate vaccines. 

Cuomo “will have to let us know when he’s ready for it because otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately,” Trump said Friday. 

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The president defended his remarks in tweets Saturday morning, writing, “We cannot waste time and can only give to those states that will use the Vaccine immediately.”

“I LOVE NEW YORK! As everyone knows, the Trump Administration has produced a great and safe VACCINE far ahead of schedule,” he tweeted. “Another Administration would have taken five years. The problem is, @NYGovCuomo said that he will delay using it, and other states WANT IT NOW…”

“Many lives to be saved, but we are ready when they are,” Trump continued. “Stop playing politics!” 

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Cuomo on Friday responded to Trump’s Rose Garden remarks, telling MSNBC, "none of what the president said is true, surprise, surprise.” 

Cuomo also told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday that while Americans trust drug companies developing candidate vaccines, including Pfizer, “What the American people don’t trust is President Trump.” 

Cuomo and others have repeatedly brought up concerns that Trump is fast-tracking the vaccine process in a political attempt to get one approved before he leaves the Oval Office in January. 

In October, the New York governor said that he was “not that confident” in the FDA approval process. 

The governor said both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “don’t have any credibility” under the Trump administration and that, as a result, others will need to vouch for a vaccine for people to have trust in it.

“I believe all across the country you're going to need someone other than this FDA and this CDC saying it's safe," Cuomo said at the time. 

Earlier this month, Cuomo said that he had spoken with other governors on how to “fix” or “stop” Trump’s vaccine distribution plan until President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE takes office. 

California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada, have joined New York in establishing an independent panel of experts to review the safety and effectiveness of any coronavirus vaccine that receives federal approval. 

On Monday, Pfizer announced that late-stage clinical trial data show that its vaccine candidate is over 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, well above the 50 percent effectiveness required by the FDA to be approved for emergency use authorization. However, the company said at the time that it will not be until the third week of November that it will have enough safety data to apply for FDA approval. 

While Pfizer did not receive money from the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed for research and development, it did receive roughly $2 billion from the program to purchase doses of the vaccine.

As states across the country experience new surges in coronavirus cases, Cuomo said in a press conference Thursday that “while New York is doing better than just about any state in the United States, we are not immune from the national trend.”

On Friday, the governor’s office announced that a record 203,721 COVID-19 tests had been recorded in the state Thursday. The governor also announced at the time that he would be holding an emergency summit this weekend with other governors from Northeastern states to coordinate policy responses to the infection spikes.