Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Monday issued a harsh rebuke of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comments that it is “bad news” that a coronavirus vaccine may come out while President Trump is still in office.
“What on earth is Governor Cuomo talking about?” Sasse said in a statement. “This is great news and everyone — Republicans and Democrats and apolitical folks – should all be jointly thrilled about the possibility of an effective vaccine.”
He continued: “After this nasty virus has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and put millions out of work, it is beyond disgusting that Governor Cuomo would use a glimmer of hope for another worn-out ‘Trump is bad’ talking point. When we get a vaccine, we’re going to need all hands on deck distributing it as fast as possible — shamelessly politicizing this is dangerous and stupid.”
Earlier on Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their vaccine was 90 percent effective according to preliminary data, and that they could request emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of November. Cuomo used the news as an opportunity to take a shot at the Trump administration.
“The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is that it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,” Cuomo told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. “The Trump Administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I believe it’s flawed. I believe it learns nothing from the past.”
“They’re going to take this vaccine and they’re going to go through the private mechanism,” he added. “Through hospitals, through drug market chains, et cetera. That’s going to be slow and that’s going to bypass the communities that we call health care deserts,” Cuomo said. “If you don’t have a Rite Aid or a CVS then you’re in trouble and that’s what happened the first time with COVID.”
The promising vaccine news comes as the United States nears 10 million coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data. More than 230,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., including 33,314 people in New York, more than in any other state.