President Trump said the federal government won't deliver a possible coronavirus vaccine until the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, lets the administration "know when he is ready for it."
“As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of places like New York state, where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say … he wants to take his time on the vaccine,” Trump said.
President Trump's term ends when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.
What this is about: Last month, Cuomo called the White House Covid-19 Task Force’s vaccination plan “deeply flawed." At that time, Cuomo said he was on a call with members of the national task force when he learned that the premise of the federal vaccination plan would be to use private pharmacies — like CVS and Walgreens — as the main distribution point for the vaccine.
“That is a very limited distribution mechanism,” Cuomo said, adding that the federal plan does not appear to provide for states to organize vaccination with state personnel on any scale.
Days later after his initial comments, Cuomo said the plan, as explained to him by the White House, involves the military distributing a future Covid-19 vaccine to large chain-pharmacies for distribution, a plan he said would disproportionately limit distribution in communities of color.
Today, Trump said the US government can't deliver the vaccine "to a state that won't be giving it to its people immediately."
"So we won't be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so and that pains me to say that," Trump said at an ongoing news conference. "This is a very successful, amazing vaccine at 90% and more, but — so the governor, Gov. Cuomo, will have to let us know when he is ready for it," Trump said.
Watch the moment: