Trump Admin Tells Cuomo Why He Has No Right to Tell the Public to Question the Vaccine Process

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Posted: Oct 19, 2020 10:45 AM
Trump Admin Tells Cuomo Why He Has No Right to Tell the Public to Question the Vaccine Process

Source: John Roca/New York Post via AP

Operation Warp Speed continues to make impressive progress on a coronavirus vaccine, with three candidates already in their Phase 3 trials. They appear to be on track to deliver millions of doses of the vaccine by January 2021. But Democrats have questioned the effort every step of the way. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) used the massive platform of the vice presidential debate to undermine the public trust in the vaccine, telling millions of viewers that she would not take the vaccine if President Trump said it was safe.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed with that narrative during an ABC News interview on Monday morning.

"I think it's going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine, and they should be," Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos.

The governor said he's going to put together his own group of medical experts in New York to review the vaccine to add "credibility" to the process and to put his mind at ease.

He added that he's "not that confident" in the FDA's approval process for the eventual vaccine and that he believes the country needs someone other than "this FDA and this CDC" saying it's safe.

But how would he know? In a recent letter to Cuomo, who serves as chair of The National Governors Association, and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Trump's Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Douglas Hoelscher reminds Cuomo that the Trump administration has hosted nearly 40 meetings with governors, the most recent ones focusing on vaccine distribution. And Cuomo has skipped out on their last 17 briefings.

"Governor Cuomo, given you have missed the last 17 governors-only briefings, including the September 9 briefing, enclosed is the September 9, 2020 readout we provided your staff and senior leadership team," Hoelscher writes. "HHS stands ready to help you and your team with your planning efforts. We are also happy to provide comprehensive follow-up emails, documents, and additional material provided to every State and public health jurisdictions over the past month on this whole-of government planning effort."

By the way, Gov. Cuomo is the very last person who should be criticizing President Trump on transparency. Maybe when his administration finally releases some more accurate numbers on how many people died from COVID in nursing homes this year, then he can talk.