Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday that New York State will conduct its own review of any coronavirus vaccine approved by the federal government out of concerns about the process being too politicized.
Democrat Cuomo said at a press conference: “Frankly, I will not trust the opinions of the federal government. Based on the opinions of the federal government, I will not recommend it to New Yorkers.”
New York officials do not play a role in the possible vaccine approval process, but under the current plan, they will help determine how to distribute the vaccine statewide. In theory, if officials believe that the vaccine is not safe, they can postpone this distribution.
Mr. Cuomo’s remarks threatened to further complicate the vaccine production process, which has fallen into political debate and has been facing distrust from the American public for months.
Opinion polls show that the number of Americans willing to obtain vaccine approval has decreased significantly. A survey conducted this month by the Pew Research Center found that 51% of Americans are likely or certain to be vaccinated, a sharp drop from 72% in May.
The most worrying of those surveyed is that the vaccine approval process is progressing too quickly without taking the time to correctly determine safety and effectiveness.
Mr. Cuomo said he was further shocked when President Trump suggested on Wednesday that the White House might reject new FDA guidelines to strengthen procedures for the approval of the coronavirus vaccine.
Mr. Trump said that the Food and Drug Administration’s plan sounds like a “political move,” but the remarks once again threatened to undermine government officials who have been working to increase public confidence in the promised vaccine.
Mr. Cuomo’s concerns echoed the comments of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., the Democratic presidential nomination, who brought the issue of potential vaccines to the center of the 2020 campaign last week. Mr. Biden accused Mr. Trump of exerting political pressure during the vaccine production process and trying to speed up the approval of the vaccine to help him win re-election.