Either Pfizer’s vaccine or another one could be sent out to front-line workers in “a matter of weeks” and may be sent out to the general population “as soon as April” of next year, the president remarked from the White House Rose Garden alongside Vice President Mike Pence and other officials.
Pfizer’s vaccine, he added, was only made due to the White House’s Operation Warp Speed, and it was an “unfortunate mistake” when the firm said it wasn’t part of the program earlier in the week.
“It’ll be approved very, very quickly,” Trump said. “The vaccine will be distributed to front-line workers, the elderly, and high-risk Americans immediately.”
New York state may not get the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccine following comments made by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, according to the president. Cuomo “will have to let us know when he’s ready for it because otherwise, we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately,” Trump said.
“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,” Cuomo said in a recent statement about the possibility of a vaccine being available.
An adviser to Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, wrote on Twitter on Friday that the governor is “is fighting to ensure the communities hit hardest by COVID get the vaccine” before attacking Trump’s response to the CCP virus. It came after Trump’s remarks at the Rose Garden.
Trump also said his administration will not implement any lockdowns, coming after remarks made by an adviser to Joe Biden, who said that a four-to-six-week-long U.S.-wide lockdown could control the pandemic. Several other Biden advisers then said on Friday that they don’t favor the measure.
“Lockdowns cost lives, and they cost a lot of problems,” Trump also said, citing the loss of jobs, business closures, and drug abuse in the midst of stay-at-home orders implemented by various governors.
Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, on Thursday issued a monthlong stay-at-home advisory, and Detroit’s public schools called a halt to in-person instruction as more than a dozen U.S. states reported a doubling of new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. Oregon and New Mexico also implemented partial lockdowns, while Cuomo ordered all gyms, restaurants, and bars to shut down by 10 p.m. starting Friday.
During the news conference, Trump didn’t take any questions.
Reuters contributed to this report.