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Andrew Cuomo: Americans ‘Should Be’ Skeptical of Coronavirus Vaccine

New York governor Andrew Cuomo attends a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said he is “not that confident” in the approval process for a coronavirus vaccine and that Americans “should be” skeptical of any vaccine for the virus put forth by the FDA.

Cuomo appeared on Good Morning America to discuss New York’s efforts in fighting the coronavirus. The state has largely remained at a 1 percent positivity rate for months, but is tightening restrictions in areas of the state where cases have spiked as colder weather pushes people back indoors.

When asked by George Stephanopolous if he was “confident” in the FDA’s approval process for a vaccine, Cuomo expressed skepticism. 

I’m not that confident but my opinion doesn’t matter,” he said. “But I don’t believe the American people are that confident. You are going to say to the American people now, ‘Here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration, their health administration that it’s safe, 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.”

Stephanopolous asked Cuomo what it would take for him to be convinced that it’s safe, effective and should be distributed.

“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, I’ll go to the people of New York and I will say it’s safe with that credibility,” Cuomo said in response. “But I believe, all across the country, you are going to need someone other than this FDA and this CDC saying it’s safe.”

The Democrat said he believed the FDA and the CDC have “lost their credibility.”

“You have Dr. Fauci saying that they tried to muzzle him, and he has the highest credibility in the nation on this issue,” he said.

Dr. Fauci, for his part, has said he would trust an eventual vaccine approved by the FDA.

Cuomo also accused the administration of “learning nothing from the past,” in giving Americans false hope that a vaccine will bring about an immediate end to the pandemic. 

“They are saying the day we get the vaccine that’s when this ends,” Cuomo said. “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.”

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