Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) fired back at Donald Trump on Friday night after the president threatened to withhold a forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine from New Yorkers.
“The president lost New York state in the election by a huge margin. You have New York prosecutors who are investigating the president for tax fraud,” Cuomo told MSNBC’s Katy Tur. “This is his issue. It’s his credibility issue. It’s the fear that he politicized the health process of this nation, which is a well-founded fear.”
According to multiple polls, more than 50 percent of Americans are afraid about the efficacy of a rushed vaccine under the Trump administration.
“Who’s going to put a needle in their arm if you don’t trust the approval process of the vaccine?” Cuomo said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
While multiple states expressed concerns over the vaccine, Cuomo was the only governor targetted by Trump.
Cuomo, a personal friend of President-elect Joe Biden, has grown increasingly vituperative in his attacks on Trump in recent months and the president has responded in kind.
“As soon as April the vaccine will be available to the entire general population, with the exception of places like New York state where, for political reasons, the governor decided to say — I don’t think it’s good politically, I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint — he wants to take his time with the vaccine,” Trump said in his first public remarks since his defeat. “He doesn’t trust where the vaccine’s coming from.”
Cuomo said the president was targeting him due to personal and political spats they have had over the past four years, such as disagreements on immigration policy and the federal government declining to fund badly needed infrastructure projects in the region.
“That’s been his M.O.,” Cuomo said. “Everything is personal with this president. There can’t be a disagreement on principle, and he retaliates. He uses the government as a retaliatory tool. That’s what he does.”
Cuomo dismissed Trump’s involvement with distributing a vaccine, which is unlikely to be available before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“The federal government on Covid has been very short on details, and has frankly been incompetent in the administration,” Cuomo said on MSNBC. “[He’s] irrelevant because I think it will fall to the Joe Biden administration.”