Cuomo Claims White House Doing ‘Nothing’ While They Ship Vaccine

All week, the Trump administration has been distributing the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine across the country to inoculate nursing home residents and health care workers. And as expected, especially considering distribution on this scale had never been tried before, there had been a few hiccups that had been worked out or were being worked out. But according to conspiracy-peddling Chris “Fredo” Cuomo, the administration was doing “nothing” but also keeping certain states from getting doses.

So, we’re less than a week into the distribution and the vaccination effort is already struggling,” Cuomo proclaimed partway through Thursday’s PrimeTime, as he proceeded to cite six states whose shipments were getting reduced next week:

Six states say they aren’t getting what the White House promised. Nobody seems to have a good answer why these six, Rhode Island, Iowa, Illinois, Washington, Michigan, and Oregon, only one of which was even scheduled to get enough for those first in line by the end of the year. Why are they being shorted? Why now?

We’re not talking a handful of doses here, either. Next week’s shipments are going to be cut between 30 and 50 percent.

With no consideration to how much those states had already received, or the possibility the doses needed to be diverted to other critical locations, Cuomo took a Pfizer statement out of context to place the blame on President Trump personally:

“Blame Pfizer!” Okay. They say no, blame Trump. Here’s their quote. “We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we haven’t received any shipment instructions for additional doses.” The Trump administration doing what it does best: nothing.

Now, two of the states Fredo was outraged for (Illinois and Oregon) were also featured on his show earlier in the week (Monday and Tuesday, respectively). But here’s the rub, he talked about them in the context of being outraged that they were getting MORE doses than HE FELT they should.

As NewsBusters reported Monday night, Cuomo was irate that Illinois was getting more doses than Ohio on day one of distribution. “Illinois, the trend of new cases lower than Ohio. Got a lot more doses today. 43,000 arrived this morning compared to less than 2,000 in Ohio. Is that fair,” he demanded to know. But, as his comments on Thursday showed, he’s now upset they were going to get less next week.

As for Oregon, on Tuesday, they were included in an on-screen graphic (pictured below) Fredo used to complain about certain states (Texas, chief among them) who were scheduled to receive enough doses to cover all of phase one recipients by New Year’s:

But only one of the states that I just mentioned, Texas, is even scheduled to get close to enough doses to give everyone in the first group a single dose by the end of the year. Why Texas? It’s not the biggest? Certainly hasn’t been the most responsible. Why Texas? In fact, of the five states that will get enough to give everyone in the first group a single dose by New Year’s, none of the states who will qualify that way are in the top 20 when it comes to case count.

Shortly after claiming the administration was doing “nothing” (with the help of a heavily edited video of White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern), Cuomo asserted without evidence that he had spoken with unnamed sources “very high up” in Operation Warp Speed who he said don’t know where distribution decisions were coming from:

They couldn’t tell me who makes the decisions of who gets what in what state. I said, is it the state? No, it’s not the state. Is it [General Gustave] Perna? Well, he’s more the logistics. He decides how it gets there. But it’s somebody — who? Is it the White House? They don’t know. What does that tell you?

So, you get the lack of leadership. Then you’ve got the real problem, which is time. It’s just “delayed.” What does time mean? More time. More disease. More death. Period,” Cuomo raged, going on to suggest things were only going to get worse once the Moderna vaccine was introduced.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Cuomo PrimeTime
December 17, 2020
9:24:31 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: So we’re less than a week into the distribution and the vaccination effort is already struggling. Six states say they aren’t getting what the White House promised. Nobody seems to have a good answer why these six, Rhode Island, Iowa, Illinois, Washington, Michigan, and Oregon, only one of which was even scheduled to get enough for those first in line by the end of the year. Why are they being shorted? Why now?

We’re not talking a handful of doses here, either. Next week’s shipments are going to be cut between 30 and 50 percent.

“Blame Pfizer!” Okay. They say no, blame Trump. Here’s their quote. “We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we haven’t received any shipment instructions for additional doses.” The Trump administration doing what it does best: nothing.

BRIAN MORGENSTERN: It’s a misunderstanding or miscommunication there. [Transition] Things are going as planned.

CUOMO: This is your plan? To screw it up?

Tell that to the governors, who are worried. To the first line recipients, who are worried. Even the spokesperson for HHS couldn’t stomach calling this ‘according to plan.’ They just said it was “delayed.”

And it raises the question, what is the plan? Who gets what and when? Why won’t the White House or the CDC or General [Gustave] Perna, why won’t somebody give us the numbers and details instead of general assurances?

Now, I teased before the break, you won’t believe it. So, I now call people who I know very high up involved with O.W. — Operation Warp Speed. They couldn’t tell me who makes the decisions of who gets what in what state.

I said, is it the state? No, it’s not the state. Is it Perna? Well, he’s more the logistics. He decides how it gets there. But it’s somebody — who? Is it the White House? They don’t know. What does that tell you?

So, you get the lack of leadership. Then you’ve got the real problem, which is time. It’s just “delayed.” What does time mean? More time. More disease. More death. Period.

Those doses were already planned to go into the arms of those most at risk. Nursing home patients. If we can’t get this right with the Pfizer shots, what happens in the coming days with the Moderna vaccine? If the system doesn’t work, it’s not going to get better by itself, right? Remember, the first wave of Moderna shots is almost double what we’re talking about from Pfizer. More to do does not make it easier to do.

(…)

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