Donald Trump is insisting that the federal government will not immediately deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to New York once it’s available — no matter the fact that Trump might not even be the president anymore once that vaccine actually is available for widespread distribution. After all, his time in office is quickly running out, and although potential COVID-19 vaccines are close, they’re not ready yet. On Twitter this Saturday, Trump claimed that New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, “said that he will delay using” the vaccine, adding that the federal government “cannot waste time and can only give to those states that will use the Vaccine immediately.” Trump is misrepresenting New York’s actual stance and endorsing a plan to put New Yorkers’ lives at risk.
Trump tweeted as follows:
‘I LOVE NEW YORK! As everyone knows, the Trump Administration has produced a great and safe VACCINE far ahead of schedule. Another Administration would have taken five years. The problem is, [Andrew Cuomo] said that he will delay using it, and other states WANT IT NOW. We cannot waste time and can only give to those states that will use the Vaccine immediately. Therefore the New York delay. Many lives to be saved, but we are ready when they are. Stop playing politics!’
….We cannot waste time and can only give to those states that will use the Vaccine immediately. Therefore the New York delay. Many lives to be saved, but we are ready when they are. Stop playing politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2020
In reality, Cuomo “announced in late September that the state would form an independent task force of scientists, doctors and health experts that would review data from every Covid-19 vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” a new CNBC report explains. This task force’s work does not automatically entail some kind of significant delay in vaccine distribution, and it definitely doesn’t entail Cuomo simply “playing politics.”
Donald himself has tried to inject politics into the COVID-19 vaccine development process. Taking credit for Pfizer’s work, Trump said during a press conference on Friday that Pfizer, whose COVID-19 vaccine collaboration with BioNTech is progressing promisingly, actually is a part of the White House initiative known as Operation Warp Speed — but that blanket statement doesn’t accurately reflect the nuances of the situation. Up to now, Pfizer has received no federal financial support for their vaccine development work, unlike other companies. The federal government has pledged to spend a ton to buy doses of the vaccine once it’s available, but this pledge simply isn’t somehow entirely responsible for Pfizer’s completed work.
On Twitter this Saturday morning, Trump also insisted that “Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill.” He’s tweeting as if he’s just some private citizen rather than the president of the United States. He’s so out of place and inept as president that he’s reduced himself to tweeting occasional calls for this economic relief… and that’s pretty much it regarding this policy area.
Check out Twitter’s response below: