New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday his state will conduct its own verification of any federally approved vaccination, citing concerns that the vetting process is overly politicized.
“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion,” the Democratic state leader told journalists.
Cuomo said New York state would create a review committee under the direction of its Department of Health, a move likely to further exacerbate concerns and uneasiness among US residents about the federal approval process for a potential vaccine.
The governor voiced alarm that Trump said earlier this week that the White House “may or may not” authorize Food and Drug Administration rules tightening standards for vaccine approval.
“That sounds like a political move,” Trump said of the FDA plans, which he said could unnecessarily delay the release of a vaccine he has vowed would be available by the November 3 vote.
Health experts including the nation’s top infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, have estimated a vaccine could be proven safe by the final months of 2020 — calling Trump’s claims that it could be ready before the election into question.
In any case many Americans remain skeptical of the process: A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that more than half of US residents said they would not get the vaccine even if it were available for free prior to the presidential election.
That lack of trust could ultimately hamper efforts to halt Covid-19’s spread, many experts say
Cuomo also joined Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in calling for a congressional oversight probe into the Trump administration’s “politicization” of the pandemic response.
“It’s increasingly clear that the President and his advisers are trying to undermine the credibility of experts whose facts run counter to the administration’s political agenda,” the Democratic leaders wrote.
“We cannot allow this this type of politically motivated decision making to take root.”
More than 200,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, with the infection continuing to spread rapidly in many parts of the country mere weeks before the presidential election.
White House science office boasts Trump ‘ended’ COVID-19 pandemic
On Tuesday, Politico reported that the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy is touting "ending the COVID-19 pandemic" among the list of supposed accomplishments of President Donald Trump's first term.
"The list, included in a press release from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, credits the administration for taking 'decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease,'" reported Brianna Ehley. "It’s the latest inaccurate claim from the administration on the severity of the pandemic, which Trump has downplayed throughout his reelection campaign, and as Vice President Mike Pence’s office is dealing with an outbreak."
‘No wonder he’s losing suburban women’: Trump flattened for promise he’s putting ‘your husbands back to work’
President Donald Trump is drawing ire from women as his closing message to female voters is, "We’re getting your husbands back to work!"
Trump made the statement to a cheering crowd in Michigan Tuesday, though he didn't clarify what women should do if they work outside of the home and have been laid off due to the pandemic. It also appears the president has decided to ignore unmarried women entirely.
Trump fires NOAA’s chief scientist for asking political appointees to follow scientific integrity rules
The Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is out.
Craig McLean, who until recently was the acting chief scientist, had sent a memo to political appointees at NOAA requesting that they, like everyone else, observe the agency's scientific integrity rules, The New York Times reports.
The next day one of President Donald Trump's political appointees, Erik Noble, told him he was out and had already been replaced.