COVID vaccine debate: Cuomo says he "doesn't trust federal government's opinion"

Posted at 11:42 PM, Sep 24, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Before Congress this week, two of America’s top health experts said they’ll be getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it is approved.

“I certainly would take that vaccine,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Girior added:“I would have no hesitancy to recommend to my family.”

This all as President Donald Trump said a vaccine could come ahead of the election. The FDA said restrictions will not be dumbed down to reach a timeline.

“Science will guide our decisions. FDA will not permit any pressure from anyone,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn.

The New York Times reported earlier this month, the CDC put states on notice to prepare for a vaccine distribution as early as the end of October. Documents obtained by the times also detailed who’s first in line for the vaccine.

“Frankly I’m not going to trust the federal government's opinion,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a press conference Thursday.

He expects 40 million doses of the vaccine for New Yorkers once it is approved. Before it is distributed and after it is approved by the federal government, the state will require several task forces to review the vaccine and plan logistics. Cuomo said his goal is “to have the best vaccination program in the United States.”

“We’re going to put together a group for them to review the vaccine so I can look at the camera and I can say to New Yorkers that it’s safe to take,” said Cuomo.

Ahead of Thursday’s announcement, Cuomo and Michigan’s Governor called for a congressional oversight investigation into the Trump administration for what they say is a “politicization” of the pandemic.

“It doesn’t pass the smell test. It can’t be true,” said Cuomo.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Nikki DeMenri asked infectious diseases expert Dr. Thomas Russo: "There’s so much information out there when it comes to vaccines. As I’m sitting here today what should I be paying attention to?”
Dr. Russo responded: “I think what you should be paying attention to is there are multiple vaccines are being studied and hopefully one or multiple of those vaccines will prove to be safe and affectatious.”

The Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo said he predicts a vaccine to come out early next year. He also wants to remind everyone, this will not be an overnight process. It will take “a while” for everyone to be vaccinated.

“I know there’s lots of talk about this on all sides, but we need to let the process play out,” said Dr. Russo.

Until there is a vaccine, Dr. Russo recommends continuing good health measures and also suggests getting a flu vaccine.