Tis’ the season, citizens, but I don’t mean Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hannukah. We’ve apparently entered the silly season of post-election politics. Or perhaps the “stupid season” might be a more apt choice. Since no one is apparently allowed to be too happy over the news that Pfizer’s vaccine has proven highly effective in the test trials and may be widely available in the spring, we’ll still need a reason to fight about it. Entering the ring once again is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. As we discussed over the weekend, Cuomo got into a spat with President Trump over the distribution of the vaccine once it has final approval, saying that he wouldn’t accept any shipments to New York until his own panel of “medical experts” had approved it because the Bad Orange Man can’t be trusted.
Trump responded by saying that he was fine with that and he wouldn’t authorize any shipments to New York until the Governor approved the vaccine. Not content to let sleeping, flea-ridden dogs lie, Cuomo has now fired back, threatening to sue the White House if his vaccines aren’t sent promptly. And no… you really can’t make this stuff up. (CBS New York)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo heated up his battle with the White House over the tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses needed for the state, saying Sunday he’s poised to sue if the rollout is withheld.
“COVID doesn’t discriminate. Neither should we,” Cuomo said at Riverside Church in Morningside Heights.
The governor spent the day getting some amens after vowing the federal government will not push New Yorkers to the back of the line for shots of vaccine, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Just to refresh everyone’s memory, this spat dates back to September 24, when some of the first vaccines were in the early stage of clinical trials and showing some promise. At that time, Cuomo was the one who fired the first shot, saying that he was in talks with the governors of seven other states and that they wouldn’t approve the delivery of any federally approved vaccine until their panels of experts agreed that it was safe. Donald Trump responded by essentially saying he would go along with Cuomo’s plan and wouldn’t authorize delivery until the Governor signed off on it.
But now, Cuomo is threatening to sue if Donald Trump tries to “push New York to the back of the line.” The first of the many things wrong with this boast is that Cuomo doesn’t appear to have thought it through very well. When the vaccine is ready to go, it’s only going to come out in batches. Somebody will have to be the first to receive it while others will need to wait for production to catch up to demand.
If the vaccines start rolling out but New York (and possibly other states) are saying to hold the phone while their own panels of medical professionals do further testing, the rest of the country is under no obligation to wait. The first vaccine deliveries to states not imposing a hold will go out. When they run out, the rest of the states, including New York, will have to wait until more is available. How is that not immediately obvious?
The other nagging issue with Cuomo’s frantic pronouncements is the timing. The Pfizer vaccine has to submit three months of safety data to the FDA after the final test subjects are vaccinated. That can’t take place until some time in February at the soonest. General approval for the public and the start of widespread distribution isn’t expected until June. Are you starting to see the problem here?
Barring some nearly miraculous turnaround in the courts. Joe Biden is going to be sworn into office in January. By the time any of this happens, Donald Trump will be cruising into retirement or his next big expedition. And I can assure you that with a Democrat in the White House, Andrew Cuomo will have absolutely no qualms about accepting the federal government’s word that the vaccine is safe and effective. He’ll change his tune entirely and happily approve delivery of the vaccine to New York State, so all of this will have been for nothing.
This is political theater and nothing more. It’s a show designed to grab a few headlines and remind Cuomo’s liberal base that he’s going to “resist” the Bad Orange Man until the very end. It’s of no use to his constituents and does nothing to get us any closer to taming the pandemic.
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