Wall Street spiked Monday on news that Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is 90 percent effective in preventing infections, even as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw cold water on the announcement.
In a first, drugmakers Pfizer, along with German co-developer BioNTech SE, released data from clinical trials showing their coronavirus vaccine to be extremely effective.
Initially, Pfizer said it would know by October if its vaccine worked, but the company shifted its timeline to the right in recent days, saying now it expects to receive Food and Drug Administration approval by the third week in October.
As for the vaccine’s efficacy, Pfizer said it derived the 90-percent effective rate based on 94 cases rather than an initially-planned 32, the Daily Mail reported.
Nevertheless, the apparent good news wasn’t well-received by everyone.
Cuomo, a frequent critic of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic despite being in charge of the state with the most infections and deaths, said Monday Pfizer’s announcement contained “bad news.”
“The bad news is that it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over,” Cuomo said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program.
“And that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan. The vaccine plan is very important, and it’s probably the most ambitious undertaking since COVID began,” he continued.
“Just to put it in focus, we did 120 million COVID tests in this nation over seven months, scrambling, doing everything we can. We now have to do 330 million vaccinations, maybe twice. My state does more testing than any state in the United States. We did 12 million tests. We have to do 20 million vaccines,” said Cuomo.
He then attacked the Trump distribution plan.
“The Trump Administration is rolling out the vaccination plan, and I believe it’s flawed,” said Cuomo, who was widely faulted for his administration’s order early in the coronavirus pandemic for nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients — which later analyses say added thousands to New York’s death toll.
“I believe it learns nothing from the past. They’re basically going to have the private providers do it, and that’s going to leave out all sorts of communities that were left out the first time when COVID ravaged them,” Cuomo added.
The Trump Administration has already paid $1.95 billion for 100 million doses; Pfizer said the first 50 million could be ready by year’s end, if the FDA grants approval.
Others also questioned the timing of the announcement, including presidential son Donald Trump Jr., who noted on Twitter that it came 48 hours after media outlets — not states — called the presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden.
President Donald Trump had repeatedly said a vaccine would be ready before Election Day.
Still, to have a vaccine at all, let alone one with as much efficacy, is a near-miracle in an age of heavy governmental regulation.
After President Trump commissioned “Operation Warp Speed” earlier this year to clear regulatory roadblocks and speed vaccine development, dozens of companies launched COVID-19 programs, with many eventually proceeding into clinical trials over the summer.
Meanwhile, Wall Street soared following the announcement.
“The S&P 500 increased 3.7%. The Nasdaq Composite – a tech heavy index – had a relatively smaller gains, about 1.3%,” Just the News reported.
“Prior to the start of this morning’s Wall Street trading, Dow Jones future climbed more than 1,500 points. S&P 500 futures leapt 4%,” the outlet added.
Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years’ worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.