NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- President Donald Trump on Friday said the federal government will not deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to New York next year unless Gov. Andrew Cuomo assures him the state will “actually use it."
Cuomo's response? "I'm not going to let a bully push New Yorkers around," he told Wolf Blitzer on CNN Friday afternoon.
And in an interview with MSNBC's Katy Tur, Cuomo said. "Everything is personal with this president. It can’t be a disagreement on principle,” he added. “And he retaliates. He uses the government as a retaliatory tool. That’s what he does. He’s also a bully.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James said she is ready to sue the Trump administration if it doesn't deliver a vaccine to New York.
“This is nothing more than vindictive behavior by a lame-duck president trying to extract vengeance on those who oppose his politics," James said. "Once there is a fully-developed COVID-19 vaccine, we are confident that a Biden-Harris Administration will provide New York with the proper number of doses so that our state’s residents can achieve immunity. If dissemination of the vaccine takes place in the twilight of a Trump Administration and the president wants to play games with people’s lives, we will sue and we will win."
Speaking from the Rose Garden on Friday afternoon, Trump said a COVID-19 vaccine would be “available to the entire general population” as soon as April, “with the exception of places like New York state, where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say — and I don't think it's good, politically, I think it's very bad, from a health standpoint — but he wants to take his time with the vaccine."
“He doesn’t trust where the vaccine’s coming from," Trump added. "These are coming from the greatest companies anywhere in the world, the greatest labs in the world, but he doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and that pains me to say that."
Cuomo refuted Trump's assertions on MSNBC, saying that "as soon as Trump delivers me a dose, I will be ready to administer it."
Cuomo in September said a state-led “Clinical Advisory Task Force” would review any COVID-19 vaccine the Trump administration authorizes for “safety and effectiveness” before it is distributed in New York. That process, however, will be carried out "concurrent" to the federal government's distribution and will not delay access in New York, he said.
“The president lost New York state in the election by a huge margin. You have New York prosecutors who are investigating president for tax fraud. So he has issues with New York,” Cuomo said.
“Everything is personal with this president. It can’t be a disagreement on principle,” he added. “And he retaliates. He uses the government as a retaliatory tool. That’s what he does. He’s also a bully.”
At his Rose Garden news conference, Trump said Cuomo would "have to let us know when he’s ready for [the vaccine]."
“Otherwise we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people, immediately," Trump said. “And I know the people of New York very well, I know they want it. So the governor will let us know when he’s ready.”