Trump: When Vaccine Is Ready for US, NY Won't Get It at First

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NY AG Letitia James push back on president's inflammatory remarks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2020 7:30 AM CST
Cuomo-Trump Feud Reignites After Trump Vaccine Remarks
This combination of two file photos shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Feb. 14, 2019, and President Trump on April 17, 2018.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Cuomo; Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Trump, File)

On Friday, President Trump gave his first public remarks since losing the election to Joe Biden, speaking at the White House about the need for Americans to remain "vigilant" against COVID-19, and how a vaccine would soon be on its way. One statement about the vaccine, however, raised eyebrows, and also reignited the feud between Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "As soon as April the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exception of places like New York state," Trump said during the Rose Garden presser, per Business Insider. Trump added that Cuomo "doesn't trust where the vaccine [is] coming from," and so New York may not initially get the vaccine sent its way. "[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.

Trump's comments seem to stem from the fact that, in September, Cuomo had indicated his state would form a task force to review any vaccine that emerged, as some were concerned the White House may have been trying to rush the approval process to look good before Election Day, per CNBC. Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, immediately weighed in on Twitter after the White House news conference. "@NYGovCuomo is fighting to ensure the communities hit hardest by COVID get the vaccine," he tweeted. "Feds providing 0 resources." Cuomo himself spoke on MSNBC and CNN later Friday, calling Trump "incompetent" and "irrelevant" and noting, "We are ready to distribute [a vaccine]," per Politico. NY Attorney General Letitia James also let her thoughts be known. "Any attempt by Donald Trump to deny New York access to a lifesaving #COVID19 vaccine will be met with a lawsuit, plain and simple," she tweeted. "Stop playing politics with people's lives." (More President Trump stories.)

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