New York will undergo its own review of any potential coronavirus vaccination before it is distributed widely, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday, indicating he plans to have the state government take a front-seat role for the endgame of stamping out COVID-19.
Cuomo, at a news conference in New York City, said he did not trust the federal government's own review of the safety of the vaccination, given President Donald Trump's own efforts to have an announcement prior to Election Day this year.
The governor called for New York to have "the best vaccination program in the United States of America."
He's appointing a committee of experts to review the safety of the vaccination that will determine who in the general population receives it first, how it is distributed, the qualified administration, keeping track of who is vaccinated and conduct a public education campaign.
The eventual goal is for New York, with its vaccination distribution, to become the first "COVID-free state" in the country, Cuomo said.
Concerns over the vaccine will also have to be alleviated within communities of color, who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, there is a vocal minority of anti-vaccination advocates who have spread misinformation that vaccines are inherently unsafe.
Cuomo and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, earlier in the day, called for a congressional oversight hearing into whether the Trump administration politicized the response to the pandemic.