WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the government won't deliver a COVID-19 vaccine New York State until Gov. Andrew Cuomo authorizes it.
The president spoke Friday in the Rose Garden about Operation Warp Speed and the government's effort during the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Trump said that the vaccine will first be distributed to health care workers, people with medical conditions that make them high risk for the virus and the elderly.
But New York will not receive it right away until the governor says New York State will use the vaccine.
Speaking about Governor Cuomo, President Trump said, "He wants to take his time with the vaccine, and he doesn't trust where the vaccine is coming from. These are coming from the greatest companies anywhere in the world."
During a press conference held last month, Gov. Cuomo said state health officials would review the vaccine report first before distributing to residents.
"Together a committee of professionals that will review the protocol and efficacy of the vaccine. If that committee tells me that the vaccine is safe I will tell the people of the state that the vaccine is safe. I do believe there will be distrust about the vaccine because I believe there is distrust about this federal administration's reliance or lack thereof on science, he said October 15."
Trump said the vaccine won't be delivered to New York until they get authorization.
"So, Governor Cuomo will have to let us know when he is ready for it, or otherwise, we can't deliver it to state that won't be giving it to its people."
"I know the people of New York very well," President Trump said. "I know they want it. So the governor will let us know when he's ready. He's had some very bad editorials recently about this statement and what's happened with respects to nursing homes and his handling of nursing homes. I hope he doesn't handle this as badly has he handled the nursing homes, but we're ready to provide it as soon as they let us know they'll actually use it."
Gov. Cuomo's Senior Advisory, Rich Azzopardi, sent out a tweet defending the governor following Trump's statement.
In a statement released Friday evening, New York Attorney General Letitia James said the state is prepared to sue the Trump Administration.
"This is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to extract vengeance on those who oppose his politics," she said. "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.
"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."
The nation has set records for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations recently and COVID-19 related deaths continue to rise.