NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A New York state task force will review any COVID-19 vaccine President Donald Trump’s administration authorizes, as the majority of Americans “don’t trust the federal government with this vaccine process,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
The new “Clinical Advisory Task Force” comprising scientists, doctors and health experts will ensure the vaccine is safe before it is administered to New Yorkers, the governor said at a news briefing Thursday morning.
In addition to reviewing the vaccine for "safety and effectiveness," the task force will guide the state's purchase of the vaccine and help decide which New Yorkers get vaccinated first, how the vaccine will be distributed, and who can administer it, Cuomo said.
“President Trump is engaged in a political process, and has an election day,” he said. “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I wouldn’t recommend (a vaccine) to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion.”
“And the people of this country don’t trust this federal government with this vaccine process,” he added, citing a recent poll that found 54 percent of Americans wouldn’t take a vaccine if the federal government fast tracked its approval before the November election.
The task force will also launch a “massive public education campaign” to inform state residents about the vaccine," Cuomo said.
“We should have the best vaccination program in the United States of America,” he said. “We should be the model vaccination program in the country.”
The governor’s announcement came shortly after he and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for a Congressional oversight investigation into the Trump administration’s “politicized” handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Rather than turning to the advice and direction of public health experts and career public servants, President Trump instead put the health and security of the American people in the hands of political appointees whose first priority was securing the reelection of their benefactor, with predictably tragic results,” the two governors said in a joint statement calling for the probe.
Cuomo on Thursday reported two new COVID-19 deaths in New York state. The state’s infection rate also ticked up above 1 percent for the second time this month.
Of the 92,953 COVID-19 test results that came back on Wednesday, 955, or 1.02 percent, were positive, he said. As of Wednesday, 500 people in the state were hospitalized with COVID-19, he added.