Monday’s news that a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer will be ready for Food and Drug Administration approval this month sent stock markets soaring and everyone celebrating. It is wonderful news for all humanity. A vaccine will slow the deaths, end the lockdowns, allow businesses to reopen, free children to return to school and return life to normal within half a year.
Amazingly, one group isn’t celebrating: Democratic politicians. They would sooner criticize the breakthrough than allow the triumph to occur on President Trump’s watch. Gov. Cuomo in New York and Gov. Gavin Newsom in California are saying FDA approval of the vaccine isn’t enough, and they will insist on approval by experts in their own states, as well.
That’s unconstitutional. Drug approval is a federal responsibility, and courts have ruled that states should stay out of it. Cuomo took it a preposterous step further on Monday, arguing that it would have been better if the vaccine had been delayed until Joe Biden became president. With over 1,000 Americans dying a day from COVID-19, Cuomo’s political calculation makes no sense.
Pfizer and its German biotech partner, BioNTech, announced that their vaccine appears to be 90 percent effective against the virus — a stunning achievement. The FDA minimum level of efficacy is 50 percent, which is standard also for flu vaccines. Pfizer’s vaccine will offer far more protection. Once Pfizer wins approval, it will sell 20 million doses a month to the United States government, also supply the European Union and Japan and eventually produce over 1.3 billion doses.