New York State will conduct its own review of all coronavirus vaccines approved by the federal government, fearing the process has become too politicized, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday.
“Honestly, I will not trust the opinion of the federal government and I would not recommend it to the people of New York based on the opinion of the federal government,” said Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, at a news briefing.
New York officials do not play a role in the process of approving a possible vaccine, but under the current plan, they would help determine how it will be distributed throughout the state. In theory, officials could slow such a spread if they think the vaccine is not safe.
Mr Cuomo’s remarks threatened to further complicate the vaccination process, which has been mired in political debate and has been facing distrust from the American public for months.
Surveys show a remarkable drop in the number of Americans who would like to get a vaccine once it is approved. A survey conducted this month by the Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of Americans will either likely or definitely get vaccinated, a significant drop of 72 percent in May.
The main concern among respondents was that the vaccine approval process would move too fast without taking the time to properly establish safety and efficacy.
Mr Cuomo said he was further alarmed when President Trump suggested on Wednesday that the White House could reject new FDA guidelines that would tighten the process of approving a coronavirus vaccine.
Mr Trump said the FDA’s plan sounded “like a political move”, a comment that again threatens to undermine government officials working to strengthen public confidence in the promised vaccine.
Mr Cuomo’s concerns echoed the comments of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee for president, who last week put the issue of a potential vaccine at the center of the 2020 race. Mr Biden accused Mr Trump of exerts political pressure on the vaccination process and seeks to speed up vaccine approval to help him win re-election.