The Corner

Politics & Policy

Andrew Cuomo: Americans Can’t Trust the FDA and CDC on a Vaccine

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo adjusts his face mask during the unveiling for the Mother Cabrini statue in the Manhattan borough of New York, N.Y., October 12, 2020. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Perhaps Democrats’ deep-rooted distrust of President Trump was destined to spread to every part of the executive branch. This morning, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, New York governor Andrew Cuomo contended that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot be trusted in their assessment of a coronavirus vaccine, and that he will only trust the assessments of his own state-level agencies.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  How confident are you in the approval process of the FDA right now?

CUOMO: Well, first, how confident am I? I’m not that confident, but my opinion doesn’t matter. I don’t believe the American people are that confident. You’re going to say to the American people now, ‘here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe’? Uh, and um, and we’re not 100 percent sure of the consequences? I think it’s going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine and they should be!

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, what’s it going to take to convince you that it’s safe, that it’s effective, that it should be distributed?

CUOMO: Well, what I said I’m going to do in New York is we’re going to put together our own group of doctors and medical experts to review the vaccine and the efficacy and the protocol and if they say it’s safe then I’ll go to the people of New York and I will say it’s safe with that credibility. But I believe all across the country, you’re going to need someone other than this FDA and this CDC saying it’s safe.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that means we’re going to need a change in the White House, is that what you’re saying?

CUOMO: Look, I, I personally hope for a change in the White House, but put that aside. If this administration continued, the CDC, George, and, uh  the FDA doesn’t have any credibility. You have Doctor Fauci now saying they basically tried to muzzle him. He has the highest credibility in the nation on this issue. And then, not only is the vaccine safe, this administration is learning nothing from the past. What they’re saying is the day we get the vaccine, that’s when it ends. That’s not true! The day we get the vaccine, we then have to prove to the American people that it’s safe, we then have to administer millions of doses and that is a massive undertaking that this administration hasn’t even talked about,  and is going to take months if it’s not done right, it’s going to be a debacle, like back in January and February when we made so many mistakes.

The coronavirus vaccines that are closest to government approval are currently being tested in tens of thousands of volunteers, run by pharmaceutical companies and medical schools and overseen by government regulators. Two weeks ago, the FDA-approved guidelines that made approval before Election Day highly unlikely.

Cuomo’s state of New York has lost 34,477 people to the coronavirus, roughly double the next-closest state, Texas. On March 25, the New York State Department of Health issued an order declaring, “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. [Nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”

The state’s department removed the order from its web site and earlier this month Cuomo insisted the order to send patients back into nursing homes “never happened.” CNN, which employs Governor Cuomo’s brother Chris as a primetime anchor, concluded in its fact check that Cuomo’s assertion that “it never happened” is false:

“6,326 COVID-positive residents were admitted to [nursing home] facilities” following Cuomo’s mandate that nursing homes accept the readmission of Covid-positive patients from hospitals. Whether or not this was “needed,” it did in fact happen.

Cuomo just published a book about his leadership during the pandemic, which is being promoted in this way:

Governor Andrew Cuomo provided the leadership to address the threat, becoming the standard-bearer of the organized response the country desperately needed. With infection rates spiking and more people dying every day, the systems and functions necessary to combat the pandemic in New York—and America—did not exist. So Cuomo undertook the impossible. He unified people to rise to the challenge and was relentless in his pursuit of scientific facts and data. He quelled fear while implementing an extraordinary plan for flattening the curve of infection. He and his team worked day and night to protect the people of New York, despite roadblocks presented by a president incapable of leadership and addicted to transactional politics.

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