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Trump Says A COVID-19 Vaccine Won't Be Sent To N.Y. He Blames Cuomo.

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo; President Donald Trump
Seth Wenig, Cuomo; Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Trump

President Donald Trump said Friday that the federal government will delay delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine to New York  because of critical comments made by Governor Andrew Cuomo about the federal plan for distributing that inoculation.

Trump said the federal government will wait to send the vaccine to New York until Cuomo says the state “is ready for it,” and criticized Cuomo’s attacks on the federal distribution plan.

“The vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of paces like New York state where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say … he wants to take his time with a vaccine because he doesn’t trust where the vaccine’s coming from,” Trump said.

Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, hit back at Trump on Twitter, criticizing the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo has been critical of the Trump administration’s plan for distributing a vaccine because of where the inoculation would be available. The federal plan largely relies on private pharmacies to distribute the vaccine. That would leave some people out, Cuomo has said.

In particular, Cuomo has been worried about communities of color having less access to a COVID-19 vaccine because those neighborhoods, he said, generally have fewer private pharmacies than other areas.

Trump put the ball in Cuomo’s court Friday, saying the federal government would wait until Cuomo asks for the vaccine, rather than sending it when it’s immediately approved.

“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,” Trump said. “Gov. Cuomo will have to let us know when he’s ready for it.”

“We can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be delivering it to its people immediately.”

It’s unclear when a vaccine will be approved by the FDA, but it’s possible that it could get the green light in the next few weeks. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced this week that its vaccine had an effective rate of higher than 90% in the latest trials.

The largest share of the vaccine will likely be distributed early next year, when President-Elect Joe Biden is set to replace Trump at the White House in late January.