Cuomo to form review council for COVID-19 vaccines, says he’s wary of approval process politicization

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state will create a panel to vet any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the federal government during a Sept. 24 news conference.

Mr. Cuomo detailed his plan to create a panel of physicians, scientists and public health officials to review the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. Since state officials would manage how a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed within the state, the panel could delay the process if they believe a vaccine is not safe.

“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers, based on the federal government’s opinion,” Mr. Cuomo said during the news conference.

Mr. Cuomo’s expressed lack of trust in the White House’s vaccine approval process reflects a sentiment that is rising among the American public. The latest findings from the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index reveal that only 8 percent of Americans have a great deal of trust in the FDA.

During the news conference, Mr. Cuomo said he was especially alarmed that President Donald Trump suggested he may reject the FDA’s new guidelines that would make it more difficult for a vaccine to be approved before Election Day.

The announcement of New York’s vaccine review panel came the same day Mr. Cuomo, along with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, issued a call for Congress to investigate the White House’s pandemic response. 

“The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of this tragedy is the direct result of President Trump and the federal government’s deceit, political self-dealing, and incompetence,” a press release from the office of Mr. Cuomo reads.

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