'This is life and death': Doctor fears politics will disrupt COVID-19 vaccine distribution to NY
As President Donald Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo struggle to see eye-to-eye regarding a COVID-19 vaccine, a specialist says this is not the time for politics.
Trump announced Friday that a vaccine would be available in April for every state, except for New York, until the state "authorizes" the vaccine. He accused Cuomo of playing politics.
"He doesn't trust the fact that it's this White House, this administration," Trump said. "So, we won't be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so. And that pains me to say that."
Cuomo has said he is skeptical of the Trump and his administration. He says an independent panel of experts in New York will review the vaccine simultaneously with its release to ensure it is safe.
"He bullies. I'm going to tell the truth, I'm going to protect the people of the state, and New Yorkers don't back down to bullies," the governor said.
Dr. Rajanish Bobde is an infectious disease expert in Briarcliff Manor. He says that while he has his own reservations regarding the vaccine, Cuomo's decision could have grave consequences.
"This is not like a computer game or some electrical thing where if it breaks, you can repair it. This is life and death," Dr. Bobde says. "If that vaccine is successful and New York doesn't get it and the company cannot roll out enough vaccines, New Yorkers will die."
While no COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in the U.S., Pfizer and BioNTech announced early last week that their vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.